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Lamb Roast Recipe for Spring

Lamb Roast Recipe for Spring

A woman is holding a platter covered in the slow roasted leg of lamb framed by freshly cut spring roses in the colors of purple and light orange

For spring, and especially Easter, lamb is a traditional and delectable dish for the table! Follow these step-by-step instructions and make a slow roasted leg of lamb for the ultimate party centerpiece. It is slow roasted with mint and mustard sauces, mixing California and Southern flavors! This recipe serves between 6 and 8 people.

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Lamb Roast Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless leg of lamb
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1½ tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2–4 cups white wine (or combination wine and water)
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard, for the sauce

Cooking Prep

Marinate the lamb at least 3 hours before cooking. If you want to serve a bone-in leg, allow a bit of extra cooking time. This marinade is also good for chicken, fish, and shrimp. If your roast is larger than 3 pounds, roast 20 minutes per pound, or to internal temperature of 135°F for medium-rare.

The cover of the book "California Cooking and Southern Style." The cover shows a woman preparing an outdoor dinner party during beautiful and fresh spring weather
Courtesy of California Cooking and Southern Style.


  1. Tie the leg of lamb with butcher’s twine and place in a shallow dish. Stir together the olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, rosemary, pepper, and sugar, and rub over the lamb (if you have a nice, fatty leg of lamb, trim the fat to ¼-inch and score the fat at 1-inch intervals to allow the rub to penetrate). Refrigerate for 3 hours or longer, and remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  3. Place the lamb on a rack in a small roasting pan and place in the bottom third of the oven for 15 minutes. Pour enough wine into the roasting pan to be about ¼-inch deep. Reduce heat to 300°F and roast for 60 to 80 minutes, or until the lamb reaches an internal temperature of 135°F for medium-rare. Add more water or wine as needed to maintain the ¼-inch depth of liquid. Remove the lamb from the oven and from the pan, loosely cover with foil, and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
  4. While the lamb is resting make the mustard sauce: Pour all the juices into a small saucepan, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan. You should have about 1 cup. Whisk in the Dijon mustard and warm to serve.

Mint Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 cups mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, roasted, seeded, and chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup balsamic or red wine vinegar


Chop the mint leaves with the sugar, salt, and chopped pepper (if using) until very fine, place in a bowl, and stir in the vinegar. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Get this recipe and more from California Cooking and Southern Style.

Spring is a great time to entertain outdoors. Check out how to throw an outdoor dinner party. Of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!

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