Slow cooked Leg Of Lamb that's flavored with rosemary and garlic, with roasted potatoes and a delicious gravy.
Whenever there is a festive Greek dinner there is lamb (in like 90% of cases). Talking about lamb that's slowly cooked, with nice crispy skin on top, lots of garlic, and potatoes
on the sides. Not talking about lamb that's lightly cooked and still pink in the center. That's
a no no for Greeks (in like 100% of cases). After trying this recipe you'll know why!
Lamb is so much more flavorful when roasted slowly, to the point it falls of the bone (mine literally did, as you can see below). It is also much easier cooking it this way, as the only thing you have to do is cover and bake for a few hours, before uncovering and roast its skin. No need to stress about keeping an eye on to get the right temperature on the inside (in order to get it cooked but not undercooked).
In other words, making a roasted leg of lamb this way, is simply a piece of cake!
How To Make Slow Cooked Roast Leg Of Lamb
To make a slow cooked roast leg of lamb, you can either use a pan with a lid (if you have one that's big enough) or use a plain big pan that fits the meat, and that you'll cover with parchment paper and aluminum foil.
So once you place the lamb leg in the pan, take a sharp meat knife, and make a few incisions here and there (back side also). Add some kosher salt, ground pepper, and a few garlic cloves (cut them in half if they're too big), inside the incisions. This helps flavor the lamb nicely on the inside. Not to mention the flavor explosion in your mouth when you bite into a piece of meat containing a slow-cooked garlic clove!
Add a drizzle of olive oil all over the meat and season with salt and pepper on the outside as well. Then press a few sprigs of rosemary inside the incisions and toss a few on the pan as well. Add a bit of wine in the pan (alcohol helps soften the meat) and enough water as to cover the bottom of the pan by ¼-inch in height. Then cover with a piece of parchment paper and secure it, with 1-2 pieces aluminum foil on top. So no steam escapes out of the pan.
Slow cook for about 3 hours. Although cooking time depends on the size of the leg of lamb and the age of the animal. The younger and more tender it is it will take less time to cook than a drier meat coming from an older animal. So for an animal that's aged between 1-2 years the cooking time will be about 2 to 2.5 hours. For an animal aged 2 years +, cooking time will be 3 hours +.
Also if the leg of lamb weighs less than 3 kg (6 lb + 10 oz) that's used in this recipe, you may need to reduce the cooking time. For example:
Weight: 1.5 Of Lamb → 1.5 to 2 hours of cooking
Weight: 2 Kg Of Lamb → 2 to 2.5 hours of cooking
Roasting The Potatoes Along With The Lamb
Another great thing about this dish is that you get to roast the potatoes along with the meat. Just boil for 10 minutes in water and then add to the pan after you have slow-cooked the lamb and are about to uncover and roast its skin.
Making A Gravy For The Lamb
The process for making a lamb gravy, is just like when you make gravy for any other roast. Remove the lamb and the potatoes from the pan and place in another pan and cover to keep warm. Place the pan that contains the leftover juices and fat of the meat (the less the liquid that has the remained the more flavorful the gravy) on your stove top. Turn the heat on, and add the flour. Using a flat spatula, stir the flour and scrape the pan all over. Once the flour has absorbed all of the liquid and stat to stick to the bottom it's time to add the liquid for the gravy.
You may use either some of the water you've boiled the potatoes in, which I did and my gravy turned out real creamy. Or vegetable stock (preferably homemade), or simply plain hot water for a lighter gravy.
Or you can cook some of your favorite veggies to serve as a side dish (in the same water you boiled the potatoes in) and use that water for the gravy. So it will be both flavorful and creamy! Veggies that go nice with roasted lamb are cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts.
Other Side Dishes To Serve For A Greek Themed Holiday Dinner
Slow Cooked Leg Of Lamb (with potatoes + gravy)
- 3 Kg / 6 lb +10 oz leg of lamb bone-in
- 1500 grams / 3 lb + 5 oz small potatoes peeled and cut in half
- 12 large garlic cloves
- 6 small rosemary sprigs
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 + ½ tablespoons dried thyme
- olive oil
- kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
For The Gravy:
- 8 tablespoons flour
- OPTIONAL: 1 liter vegetable stock (see how to make at home)
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 356°F.
- Place the leg of lamb in a large baking pan. Using a meat knife make 6-7 incisions to the leg of lamb here and there. Fill the incisions with kosher salt, ground pepper, and a clove of garlic. Use the 4 out of 6 rosemary sprigs and press them inside the incisions. Toss the remaining rosemary in the pan, as well as the remaining garlic cloves.
- Drizzle the lamb with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper all over on top as well.
- Pour the wine in the pan along with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan by ¼-inch (about 1 cm) in height.
- Cover the pan with a piece of parchment paper and aluminum foil on top. Secure the edges well so no steam escapes.
- Bake for 3 hours.
- After 2.5 hours start to prepare the potatoes.
- Half fill a cooking pot with water and season with some salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add the potatoes and boil for 10 minutes. Then remove from the pot and set aside.
- You may save 1 liter of the water you boiled the potatoes in, to use in the gravy later on, instead of vegetable stock or plain water. It will make the gravy more creamy.
- Once the lamb has cooked for 3 hours, unwrap and add the potatoes in the pan around the meat. Drizzle them with a splash of olive oil. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper, and the dried thyme.
- Raise the oven's temperature to 230°C / 446°F.
- Roast the lamb and the potatoes uncovered, for about 50 minutes. Flip the potatoes at least once during that time. Once the lamb and the potatoes are nicely roasted, you may serve them just like that or proceed on making the gravy.
To Make The Gravy:
- Remove the lamb carefully from the pan and place it in another pan along with the potatoes. Cover using the parchment paper and aluminum foil and keep warm inside the oven (turned off).
- NOTE: You will need 1 liter of liquid for the gravy. Ideally, use vegetable stock to make a truly flavorful gravy. Otherwise, you may use the water you boiled the potatoes in. It will give a more creamy texture. And if you want a lighter gravy, use plain hot water making sure to check the gravy for salt. The liquid should be steamy hot when added into the pan for the gravy, to avoid any flour lumps from forming.
- Place the pan you cooked the lamb in on your stovetop. Remove any sprigs of rosemary from the pan. Add the flour and stir with a spatula to combine with the liquid and the fat that's left in the pan.
- Turn the heat on to medium-high. Cook the flour for 2 minutes, scraping and stirring the pan constantly. Pour in the liquid (hot water, potato water you saved, or veggie stock) in bits at a time while you stir and scrape the pan. Make sure you scrape the sides of the pan as well. You need every bit of this brown burned grease you see on the pan. It's what gives flavor to the gravy.
- Once you've incorporated all of the liquid and you have a nice and velvety gravy transfer to a gravy boat or a bowl. If you think your gravy turned out to thick just stir in a splash of hot water. Cut and serve the lamb with the potatoes and plenty of the delicious gravy on top!
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