Chef John's Roasted Leg of Lamb Recipe -
Chef John's Roasted Leg of Lamb Recipe
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Chef John’s Roasted Leg of Lamb
See how to make roasted leg of lamb with an herb, garlic, and pomegranate rub. See more
  • READY IN 10+ hrs

Chef John's Roasted Leg of Lamb

Recipe by  

"I've done more than a few lamb dishes dedicated to Easter, but inexplicably have never posted one for a whole leg of lamb. It's such a classic Easter menu option, and, when prepared using this method, makes for a very user-friendly hunk of meat."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 45 mins

    10 hrs 20 mins


  1. Stir 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses, garlic, rosemary, kosher salt, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, mint, and cumin together in a bowl.
  2. Arrange the butterflied leg of lamb onto a work surface with the fatty side facing down. Cut 2 deep slashes in each of the the fleshy ends of the meat. Flip the lamb and cut 10 to 20 shallow slashes across the surface of the fat.
  3. Spread 3/4 the pomegranate molasses mixture onto the meat-side of the lamb to coat completely. Fold meat together and turn into a large bowl. Spread remaining pomegranate mixture over the fatty side of the meat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place a roasting rack in the bottom of a roasting pan.
  5. Remove lamb from marinade and discard excess marinade. Gather roast and place onto a work surface with fatty side facing upwards. Tie the center section of the roast with kitchen twine to cinch the roast together. Repeat ties four times along the length of the roast.
  6. Season roast with salt and transfer to prepared roasting pan. Pour water below the rack to cover the bottom of the pan.
  7. Roast in the preheated oven until hot and slightly pink in the center, about 1 3/4 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 135 degrees F (57 degrees C). Rest for 15 minutes, transfer to a plate, and brush with remaining pomegranate molasses.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • You can substitute red pepper flakes for the Aleppo pepper.
  • Nutrition:
  • The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the marinade ingredients. The actual amount of the marinade consumed will vary.

Reviews More Reviews

Sep 14, 2014

Chef John I want to thank you for sharing this recipe for all of us to make. I did it exactly as you describe. It came out outstanding!!! I will certainly be making this again. Thank you!!

Apr 04, 2015

I used John's recipe to cook a leg of lamb for Christmas. Home run for my finicky eaters. I like the way he details how to prepare the meat by cutting slashes. I did substitute honey for the molasses. Chef John is my go-to when trying new dishes.


13 Ratings

Dec 26, 2014

Thank you, Chef John, for making our Christmas dinner a smashing success! I followed your special pomegranate mollases recipe and it was wonderful! I tripled the recipe for 3 boneless lamb roasts of about 5 pounds each and, after marinating them overnight, I gave a fun layer of fresh baby spinach leaves, goat cheese and chopped sweetened dried cranberries before rolling them up. I used the elastic wrappers that came with the lamb roasts to package them up and placed them side-by-side on a roasting rack with a little water at the bottom of the pan. They turned out perfectly! And we made lamb gravy for the mashed potatoes with the drippings. Wow! Heaven! Merry Christmas Chef John and thank you for your excellent advice! Leslie

Mar 30, 2015

Even if I didn't love cooking I would watching you. I grow my own pomegranates and make my own jellies--this year I will also add molasses and syrup. This one goes in the oven---but the one sitting in the freezer I will cook south Texas style==outside over mesquite. Since I do alot of cooking for ranch hands and family I want the best ideas. Every time I see one of your recipes try it. I like your quality.Thank you very much.

Jan 31, 2015

Delicious! Our guests loved it too! The only change I made was to add a little organic dark brown sugar to the marinade, as I found it too tart without it. All Chef John's instructions about how to prepare the leg of lamb were clear and worked out perfectly. Thank you!

Jan 19, 2015

I loved this recipe it was my first time coming a leg of lamb and it was delicious

Nov 21, 2014

Fabulous! I love Chef John and the fact I can get this great lamb recipe makes me love him more.

Apr 10, 2015

OK!!!!!!!!!!! Best flavor ever serious perfection.


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  • Calories
  • 326 kcal
  • 16%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 1.2 g
  • < 1%
  • Cholesterol
  • 115 mg
  • 38%
  • Fat
  • 20.6 g
  • 32%
  • Fiber
  • 0.4 g
  • 1%
  • Protein
  • 31.9 g
  • 64%
  • Sodium
  • 804 mg
  • 32%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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