Lina's Leg of Lamb


Lina makes this whole roasted leg of lamb often because her family loves the flavor of the tender meat as it virtually falls off the bone when being carved.


  • 5 pound leg of lamb
  • salt to taste
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf Italian parsley
  • 3 ounces butter, divided (stick)
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil for rubbing


  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Make a number of deep slits into the thickest part of the meat. Spread the edges of the cut meat and sprinkle salt into each slit. This will add flavor as well as draw some of the fat out of the meat.
  3. Put the garlic, rosemary needles, and parsley leaves into a mini-chopper and whirl to produce a minced paste. Or chop by hand on a cutting board. Insert a spoonful of the paste into the slits that have already been salted. Cut 2 tablespoons of the butter into pats and insert into the slits. Pinch the slits closed. Rub any remaining paste over the top of the roast.
  4. Cut 2 tablespoons of the butter into pats and arrange in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Set the roast on top of the butter pats. Use the remaining butter to dot the top of the roast. Pour the olive oil over the roast. Cover with foil. Remove foil during final 30-45 minutes of cooking time.
  5. Bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature of the meat is at least 145F. Lamb depending on preference is ready for rare 115-120F, Medium rare 125F, Medium 130F, Medium -Well 145 F., Well Done 150F Allow the roast to rest for a few minutes before carving. Skim the fat off the pan juices, reheat the juices and serve with the meat.

This recipe was featured on Season 25 - Episode 2522.

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Francine Ragonese Paston

This is exactly the way my Nona and mom and I make it. My family is from Southern Italy. I enjoy your books and programs very much…I miss my family I’m the only one left at 70 yrs. old and miss the old days.

Claudia Valimont

I make Leg-o-Lamb every Easter. I make slits all over it about 5 or 6 and place cut up pieces of garlic, romano cheese and parsley in each slit. My family loves it this way. I also make Easter bread and wedding soup.
Happy Easter

Catherine Dilworth

This looks absolutely delicious. Printing the recipe right now and will try it for Easter. Thank you!

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