Top tips for the perfect roast lamb
No matter whether you're a lamb-roast veteran or just trying it for the first time, it's always a special meal.
In winter it's so comforting, in spring it's abundant (and therefore extra affordable) and who could go the summer without a rack of lamb chops?
Roasting lamb might seem intimidating, but once you know the temperatures and times the oven does most of the work for you.
How to roast lamb
What lamb cuts are best for roasting
The leg and rack are the most tender cuts of meat on a lamb, and are great for a standard roast. A roast rack of lamb needs much less time to cook than a roast leg.
Some general cooking time and temperatures:
- Rack of lamb: Pre-sear it in a pan to get it brown all over, then roast for 10-25 minutes at 220°C, depending on your doneness preference
- Leg of lamb: 20-30 minutes per 500g at 180°C
Lamb is best when served rare to medium. If you have a thermometer, it's rare at 60°C, medium-rare at 60-65°C, and medium at 65-70°C.
Cuts such as shanks and shoulders (with more connective tissue) are better for slow-roasting, braising and stewing.
How to prepare your lamb
Score the fat of the lamb roast with a small, sharp knife. This will help the fat render out and create a nice crisp and browned surface.
Marinate your lamb overnight or for at least 30 minutes. Some popular flavour combinations are:
- Lemon, garlic and rosemary
- Paprika, cumin and coriander
- Indian spices - e.g. Korma sauce
Take your lamb out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before cooking. This will help it cook nice and evenly.
What to roast lamb in
Ensure your roasting pan or dish has high enough sides to catch any juices.
Use a roasting dish that is close to the size of the lamb. This way the pan juices won’t burn and give a bitter taste to the roast.
Use a roasting rack if you have one. This ensures even browning and heat circulation around the meat.
Baste the roast with its own juices as it cooks to keep it juicy and give it extra flavour. Spoon the juices over the top of the meat every 20-30 minutes.
How to serve your roast
Always rest your meat before cutting. Remove it from the oven, place a foil tent loosely over it, and leave it for 15-20 minutes. A well-rested piece of meat will be more tender and juicy.
Cut the meat across the grain so that it's tender when you eat it.
What to serve with roasted lamb
There are so many options for lamb sides depending on the season and occasion. Here are some popular and some different choices:
- Roast potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips with peas and mint sauce
Related: Check out lots more side recipes
Must-try roast lamb recipes
Now you know all tips and tricks to a perfect roast lamb, it’s time to test them out.
This marinade pairs so well with the melt-in-your-mouth lamb. Totally delicious, this roast goes down a treat with all the classic trimmings.
A twist on the standard roast, gorgeous Indian korma spices add an extra depth of flavour. And those lentils cooked in the roasting pan juices turn out amazingly hearty and delicious.
More Tips & Advice
How to slow cook lamb
Time is the key ingredient when it comes to preparing a tender lamb dish. Slow cooking a cut of lamb, whether it be a pull-apart baked shoulder, gently braised shanks or sizzling roast means playing the long game and not rushing the process. Find out how with these recipes.
7 classic Christmas roasts
Get classic roast recipes including chicken, turkey, lamb, pork and more, plus get the secret to elevate any roast to a Christmas-worthy meal.
How to cook lamb shanks
Learn how to slow cook lamb shanks with these simple tips! Find out how to get tender lamb shanks, if you can overcook them and find lots of easy recipes.