Braised Lamb with Rosemary Garlic

Posted by Jenni Harris
Mar 3, 2017 3:05:00 PM


A large lamb roast is an impressive centerpiece for a meal. A roast is dense but rich, pairing well with lots of herbs or a strong spice mix. 

Because a roast is a large cut with lots of fat and connective tissue, it is best cooked low and slow under moist heat. Roasting or braising a lamb leg or shoulder liquefies the collagen and fat to coat the muscle fibers, making a deeply flavorful, tender result.

If you really want to go all out, you can brown the lamb in a wood burning oven where it could absorb smoky flavors. For the rest of us mere mortals, that step for this recipe can be done in a hot oven.

LambRoast-4113 - Edited

Recipe: Braised Lamb with Rosemary Garlic

Serves 8


  • 3 lb. White Oak Pastures Grassfed Lamb Center Cut Leg Roast (bone-in or boneless, adjustments below)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 2 dried chiles de arbol or 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Optional serving sauces: salsa verde and harissa



  1. Toast coriander seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool; finely grind in spice mill or mortar and pestle. 
    *If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can just use ground coriander! It may not be as fragrant as the full toasted seeds, so use the full 2 tsp of ground coriander
  2. Pound garlic, rosemary, oregano, and pepper with a mortar and pestle or pulse in a food processor until garlic and rosemary are broken into fine pieces or finely chopped. Mix in coriander, then, stirring constantly, stream in ½ cup oil. Mix until a thick paste forms.
  3. Season lamb all over with kosher salt and spread half of the rosemary paste over inside of lamb. 
  4. Starting from a short end, roll up lamb so it is resting seam side down. Starting at the center, tie with kitchen twine at even intervals. Rub outside of lamb with remaining rosemary paste.
    *For bone-in leg, roll bone side of cut toward the long end, and tie the same way. You may need an extra helping hand!
  5. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Chill at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours (letting the lamb marinate longer will really allow the flavors to meld and permeate the meat).
  6. Remove lamb from refrigerator and let sit to come to room temperature, about 1 hour (this facilitates even cooking). Preheat oven to 450°F.
  7. Roast lamb until well browned all over, 20-25 minutes. 
  8. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
  9. Meanwhile, heat remaining ¼ cup oil to a Dutch oven (or other heavy pot large enough to fit lamb) over medium heat. Add onion, fennel, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and golden, 15-20 minutes. Add chiles de arbol and wine and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  10. Carefully place lamb in pot and pour in water to come halfway up sides of meat. Place in oven and braise lamb, uncovered, until an instant thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 120-125°F, about 45-60 minutes.
    *For bone-in leg, add 30-60 minutes of cooking time.
  11. Transfer lamb to a cutting board and loosely cover. Let rest 30 minutes so that the juices redistribute and it comes up to a medium-rare (135°F).
  12. Slice lamb against the grain and transfer to a platter. Spoon some braising liquid over meat and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with strong sauces like salsa verde and harissa.
  13. If you have bones left over, save them to make homemade lamb stock for another meal! 

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