Roasted Leg of Lamb

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives

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5 from 3 reviews

This Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives is an elegant entree for your table. Minced garlic, herbs, and spices add depth of flavor to this tender meat. This dish will prove to be the crowning display of beauty at your next dinner party.


  • 5-7 pounds boneless Leg of Lamb, rolled and tied
  • 2 tablespoon Olive Oil, divided
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon Kosher Salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 12-14 large Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 heaping cup Kalamata Olives
  • 2 Sweet Onions, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 2 Lemons, quartered
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine


  • Pull the leg of lamb from the refrigerator and let it sit out for about an hour before it is ready to go into the oven.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Pat the lamb dry with paper towels and smear 1 tablespoon of olive oil on all sides.
  • Combine 6 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon each of Herb de Provence, fresh rosemary and thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Rub the mixture on all sides of the lamb. Place the lamb in a large roasting pan (do not cover it with foil) and cook for 15 minutes in the 450°F oven to get a nice sear.
  • Pull the roast out of the oven and scatter 12-14 large cherry tomatoes (halved), 2 sweet onion wedges, one heaping cup of kalamata olives, and 2 lemons (quartered) around the roast. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt on the veggies. Pour in 1 cup dry white wine.
  • Turn the oven down to 325°F and continue to cook for 40-55 minutes. Because of oven temperature variations and different weights of the lamb, time is not the best indicator for a perfectly cooked roast. An instant-read thermometer will give an accurate internal temperature. Rare should read 120-125°F, Medium-Rare 130-135°F, Medium 140-145°F.
  • When done, pull the pan from the oven, place the roast on a meat cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Using scissors, cut the string or netting, remove and discard. Slice the lamb against the grain.
  • Spoon the vegetables into a serving bowl, add pan juices and squeeze the lemon wedges over them. Serve with the lamb.


  • Remove the lamb from the refrigerator at least an hour before you throw it in the oven bringing it to room temperature. This lets the meat relax and its natural juices reabsorb into the muscles. Taking the chill off of the meat will cut down on your cooking time and ensure the lamb is cooked evenly throughout.
  • Trussing is simply tying the meat with butcher twine (cotton kitchen string) which holds everything tightly in place and helps the lamb cook more uniformly. Check this youtube video out which takes you step by step in this process.
  • Marinating is usually left for tougher pieces of meat. And because lamb is naturally tender, there is no value in using a marinade. The fibers of the meat can be broken down too much with marinating, causing the texture to become mushy and mealy.
  • So for this recipe, I went with a rub, which makes this meat incredibly flavorful. It consists of minced garlic, spices,  and herbs. It's honestly the perfect enhancement for this lamb.
  • Searing the meat locks in the juices before you ever start roasting. When you sear, the natural sugars caramelize and the rub gets crispy which creates a lovely brown crust on the surface.
  • Time is not the best indicator for a perfectly cooked roast. It's best to invest in an instant-read thermometer for an accurate read on when a roast is done.
  • Probably the most important part of cooking any type of meat is the "resting time" once it comes out of the oven. The juices need time to redistribute back into the meat. If you cut into it too soon, all those lovely juices just seep right on out.
  • Once it's out of the oven, remove the meat from the pan and tent a large piece of foil over the meat and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
  • The proper way to slice any meat including this Leg of Lamb is to cut it against the grain. The "grain" is the muscle fibers that run through the meat. When you cut across the grain (not parallel) it shortens those tough fibers.


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