I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t love lamb, my favourite is this minted roast leg of lamb. And it’s easier to cook than you would think. Follow my steps below to find out how to cook lamb that is succulent and delicious, every single time.
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Roast Leg of Lamb
Minted roast leg of lamb is a bit of a luxury when you are only two people to share it, so when I found my local supermarket selling whole lamb legs for the price of a small piece of lamb roast, I grabbed a few and asked the friendly butcher to chop them in half for me. The result – a freezer stocked with enough lamb roasts to stock a small farm!
We love lamb. There is so much you can do with it – roasted in the oven with garlic and rosemary, slow-cooked pull-apart lamb in the slow cooker, pot-roasted in the pressure cooker, or this way – minted and roasted to perfection.
Lamb is a very easy meat to cook. Just pop it in the oven and forget about it until it is done.
Follow my cooking times below to get perfect roast leg of lamb. Every. Single. Time.
How to prepare and cook a leg of lamb
You will need a roasting tin large enough to hold your leg of lamb. If the roasting tin has a lid, so much the better. But don’t worry if it doesn’t have a lid, you can just cover it with a sheet of tinfoil.
Lamb leg joint – the size doesn’t really matter – you can work out the cooking times for different sizes of lamb legs from the cooking times instructions below.
Mint rub – this is sold in packets in the supermarket (in the gravy section), or you can order it on-line from Amazon. This is the one I use and it is a dry powdered mint-flavoured rub which comes in 60-gram packets. Depending on the size of your lamb you will probably need half a packet.
Mint sauce – this is optional, but I like to rub the lamb with a little mint sauce before adding the mint rub as it helps the rub to stick to the lamb.
Sunflower oil – one or two tablespoons to rub over the lamb.
Salt – to your own taste.
What to do
Rub the lamb all over with a tablespoon of oil and a teaspoon of salt. Then rub it with a tablespoon of mint sauce.
Cover the lamb on all sides with the mint rub, taking care to pat it well onto the lamb.
Place the lamb in a large roasting tray.
Cover the roasting pan with a lid (or a sheet of tinfoil) and roast for the times given in the cooking times below.
15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the lid to allow the lamb to brown.
Rest the lamb
It is very important to allow the lamb to rest for at least 20 minutes after removing it from the oven. This gives the meat time to relax and allows the juices to settle. If you carve it straight out of the oven all the delicious juices will just run all over your chopping board.
Leave the lamb in the roasting pan with the lid on, and let it stand until you are ready to carve.
Make the gravy
For a quick and easy gravy just mix 1 Tablespoon of lamb gravy granules with a little boiling water and then make it up to 1 cup with the remains of the lamb roasting juices. The minty flavour from the lamb adds a delicious taste to the gravy.
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Cooking times for leg of lamb
The ideal way to cook your lamb to perfection is to use a meat thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches a certain point your lamb is done and should be taken out and rested.
- Medium rare – very pink – 55 – 60 °C
- Medium – just a hint of pink – 61 – 66 °C
- Well done – no pink at all – 67 – 71 °C
If like me, you don’t own a meat thermometer you can just time your lamb instead
- Medium rare – very pink – 20 minutes per 450 grams (or per pound) + 20 mins
- Medium – just a hint of pink – 25 minutes per 450 grams (or per pound) + 25 minutes
- Well done – no pink at all -30 minutes per 450 grams (or per pound) + 30 minutes
The above times and temperatures assume an oven temperature of 190°C / 375 °F
For more information on cooking lamb, along with information on the different cuts of lamb, see this handy guide.
What to serve with roast lamb
I like to serve my minted lamb with roast potatoes and a selection of veggies and plenty of gravy made with the roasting juices.
Here are a few vegetable side dishes you may like to try:
- Boere boontjies (mashed green beans)
- Baby Marrow with Tomato and Onion
- Glazed carrots (vichy carrots)
- Creamy leek and brussels sprouts bake
- Buttered cabbage and leeks with mustard seeds
- Crispy smashed rosemary potatoes instead of roast potatoes.
Save for later
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You may also like these other lamb recipes:
- Lancashire hotpot
- Easy lamb curry
- Lamb shanks with minted gravy
- South African lamb bredie
- Lamb curry in pita bread
Minted Roast Leg of Lamb
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- Meat thermometer
- Carving knife
- 3.5 pounds / 1.5 kg Leg of lamb
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons mint sauce
- 2 to 3 tablespoons dry mint rub marinade You may need more depending on the size of your lamb leg
- 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 190 °C / 375 °F.
- Wipe the lamb with a damp cloth3.5 pounds / 1.5 kg Leg of lamb
- Rub the lamb all over with a mixture of salt and oil and then rub on the mint sauceSalt, 2 tablespoons mint sauce, 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pat all over with dry mint rub marinade.2 to 3 tablespoons dry mint rub marinade
- Place the lamb in a roasting dish. You may want to line your dish with tin-foil to save on the washing up.
- Cover the roasting dish with a lid or a layer of tin-foil
- Place in the oven and leave for the times or temperatures indicated below.*Internal temperature – Medium rare – very pink – 55 – 60 °C – Medium – just a hint of pink – 61 – 66 °C – Well done – no pink at all – 67 – 71 °C*Cooking time – Medium rare – very pink – 20 minutes per 450 grams (or per pound) + 20 mins – Medium – just a hint of pink – 25 minutes per 450 grams (or per pound) + 25 minutes – Well done – no pink at all -30 minutes per 450 grams (or per pound) + 30 minutesA 1.5 kilogram leg of lamb will take 90 minutes to cook to medium doneness
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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