The One Thing Chef Curtis Stone Does to Elevate His Roast Leg of Lamb

Curtis Stone's Rosemary Roasted Leg of Lamb

My granny was from Yorkshire and her roast lamb was classic English fare fit for royalty. A roast in the oven, perfuming the entire house, will always remind me of family gatherings at her home.

These days, I absolutely love roasting meats in my outdoor wood-burning oven. My leg of lamb is coated with a flavor-packed mixture of garlic, lemon zest, and olive oil, then completely wrapped with long branches of fresh rosemary and slowly roasted in the wood-burning oven, where the smoke elevates these intense flavors.

I’ve adapted this recipe to roast the lamb in a conventional oven so you can make a version of this centerpiece dish for your friends and family—and maybe even your granny.

<p>Rochelle Palermo</p>

Rochelle Palermo

Recipe and images published with permission from Curtis Stone.

Curtis Stone's Rosemary Roasted Leg of Lamb


  • 20 large long-stemmed fresh rosemary sprigs

  • One 4 1/2-pound semi-boneless leg of lamb (hip bone removed)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

  1. Soak the rosemary in cold water for 1 hour. This will help prevent the rosemary from burning while they are in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Heat a heavy large cast-iron griddle pan over high heat. Coat the leg of lamb with 1 tablespoon of oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Sear the leg of lamb until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a baking sheet.

  3. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, lemon zest, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Rub the garlic mixture all over the lamb.

  4. Lay the strands of kitchen twine horizontally across a large rimmed baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Drain the rosemary. Lay half of the rosemary sprigs perpendicularly atop the twine. Set the lamb on top of the rosemary, then cover the lamb with the remaining rosemary sprigs.

  5. Starting with the center twine and working toward the outer twines, tie the twine as tightly as possible around the lamb and rosemary, completely encasing the lamb with the rosemary.

  6. Arrange the lamb at an angle on a baking sheet so that it fits properly. Roast the lamb for about 1 hour, or until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 120°F when inserted into the thickest part of the lamb meat. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes.

  7. Meanwhile, to make the mint sauce. Place the mint in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour the vinegar mixture over the mint and let steep for about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

  8. Remove the twine and rosemary from the lamb. Carve the lamb into thin slices and transfer to a platter, then drizzle with any accumulated juices. Serve the mint sauce alongside.