Are you looking for an impressive main dish? Nothing is more “Greek” than a roasted leg of lamb!! This Greek-style roasted leg of lamb with potatoes is guaranteed to impress a hungry crowd.
My favorite way to eat lamb is the way my dad makes it every Easter; on the spit with lots of ladolemono (lemony olive oil dressing). Since I don’t have a spit and my dad lives in N.Y (very sad face), I roast my lamb in the oven, which is WAY easier… I like to roast the lamb with potatoes. They soak up all that delicious flavor and are to die for. It’s perfect for Springtime, to serve at any gathering or for a Sunday family meal.
Let’s go over the ingredients:
- 4-5 pound bone-in leg of lamb
- 3 medium onions
- lots of garlic (I used about 20 cloves)
- crushed red pepper
- black pepper
- olive oil
- fresh lemon juice (always use fresh!)
I put the whole garlic cloves in the pan with quartered onions and set the lamb right on top to marinate it. It’s best to marinate it overnight for maximum flavor, but make sure the meat comes to room temperature before you roast it.
What is ladolemono?
One of my favorite marinades is ladolemono. It’s a lemony olive oil paste that creates all of the magic. Use just a little bit of oil because lamb is very rich and has lots of natural fat. I add lots of oregano to cut through the gaminess of the lamb, and I use a lot of pepper because I like it a little spicer. However, you can adjust the amount of pepper. You may also add some finely chopped mint.
How big of a leg of lamb do I need?
For this recipe, I used a pretty big piece. It’s between 4 and 5 pounds. Use whatever you find that’s fresh and really good quality in your local Meat Market or Supermarket. After you rub on the marinade, make sure that it’s completely covered properly with the foil to either put it in the oven to cook or the refrigerator to marinate.
I used to teach lots of cooking classes before I had baby Laya, and this was one of the most popular recipes that I taught. So, I’ve taught how to make it many times. You can take my class, too!
Potatoes and side dishes for lamb
The potatoes can be added at two different times. It’s whichever you prefer.
- Add potatoes at the beginning with the garlic and onions: peel the potatoes and leave them whole or only cut them in half. They will soak up all of the delicious juices and be a little bit darker in color.
- OR… wait until halfway through cooking the lamb (1 and ½ hours before the meat is fully cooked): peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters.
Halfway through the cooking time, it’s important to bast the lamb and remove the foil. This will allow the lamb to brown and some of the excess juices to evaporate off.
Roast the lamb until the meat is falling off the bone and the potatoes are tender. If your lamb is a little bit smaller, it might be ready sooner. So, just check on it every half hour until it’s nice, soft and falling off the bone. If you have a larger cut, increase the temperature of your oven to 475℉ halfway through cooking. The extra liquid will evaporate faster so the potatoes don’t get mushy.
When it’s done, let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes so that the juices can get redistributed. Sometimes the lamb will release a lot of oil, so you can just skim it off the top and do whatever you want with it. The garlic will completely melt when you touch it with your fork, the onion will be super soft, and the potatoes will be perfectly cooked.
Greek-style roasted leg of lamb with potatoes is my favorite Easter lamb recipe, but…
Try these other lamb recipes:
- Greek Lamb Shanks
- Crown Roast Rack of Lamb
- Lamb Kleftiko: Greek Lamb cooked in Parchment
- Lamb Fricasse
- Lamb & Orzo Soup
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Greek-Style Roasted Leg of Lamb with Potatoes
Are you looking for an impressive main dish? Nothing is more "Greek" than this dish!! My favorite way to eat lamb is the way my dad makes it every Easter; on the spit with lots of ladolemono (lemony olive oil dressing). Since I don't have a spit and my dad lives in N.Y (very sad face), I roast my lamb in the oven, which is WAY easier... I like to roast the lamb with potatoes. They soak up all that delicious flavor and are to die for.
- 1 leg of lamb or shoulder (3 and 1/2 - 4 pounds)
- Garlic cloves, peeled (about 22)
- 8-10 potatoes, quartered and peeled
- 2-3 medium onions, quartered
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for potato seasoning
- black pepper to taste
- The Marinade:
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 5 heaping teaspoons of dried oregano, plus more for potato seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Ladolemono (lemony olive oil sauce):
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Just whisk all of the ingredients together and pour in a nice gravy bowl or any nice small bowl and serve!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Place the garlic on the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the leg of lamb on top of the garlic. Arrange the onions around the lamb.
Whisk the marinade and pour over the lamb. Rub it all over so that everything is marinated. Sprinkle the salt and black pepper over everything. Make sure that you season all sides of the lamb.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, peel and quarter the potatoes and place them in a large bowl covered with cold water.
Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for 1 and 1/2 hour more covered with foil.
Drain the water out of potatoes and drizzle about 1/4 cup or less olive oil over them. Lightly season them with salt, pepper, and some dried oregano. Add the potatoes to the roasting pan with the lamb and bake covered for an hour.
Remove the foil and bake for about 30 minutes more or until the meat is falling off the bone. Remember to baste the lamb with the sauce in the pan each time you handle the pan.
Remove from the oven and let it rest for 25 minutes in the roasting pan. Transfer it onto a nice platter with the potatoes and serve it with a delicious salad and crusty bread! You can also prepare some more ladolemono sauce to serve with the lamb. Enjoy!!
OPTIONAL: The potatoes can be peeled and left whole so that you may cook them together with the lamb from the start. They will be very flavorful but will become a bit dark. It's up to you! Let me know which way you like it better in the comments section below.