Herb-Crusted Leg of Lamb


At a traditional Greek Easter dinner, lamb is served medium to well done. If you like it rare, roast it for a shorter amount of time.


  • 2 legs of lamb (9 pounds each), bone in, trimmed of excess fat

  • 1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon olive oil

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 medium head garlic

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • cup brandy

  • 1 ½ cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary


  1. Let lamb stand at room temperature for one hour. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Remove all but a thin layer of fat from the lamb. Rub lamb with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place on a rack in a heavy roasting pan.

  2. Meanwhile, rub head of garlic with 1/4 teaspoon oil; wrap loosely in foil. Bake until garlic is very soft, about 1 hour. Let cool.

  3. Cut off top of garlic head; squeeze roasted garlic into a bowl. Using a fork, mash garlic to a paste. Add extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; mix well.

  4. Rotate pan after lamb has roasted 1 1/4 hours. After 30 minutes more, slather lamb with roasted-garlic paste. Roast an additional hour (for a total roasting time of about 2 3/4 hours), or until an instant-read thermometer inserted at the thickest part reads 160 degrees. Remove from oven, and let rest 20 minutes.

  5. Transfer lamb to a carving board. Pour off fat from roasting pan; place over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with flour, and stir with a wooden spoon. Pour in brandy; scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan. Lower heat to medium; let liquid reduce by half. Add stock, stirring until incorporated. Add rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Slice lamb; serve with sauce on the side.

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