Roasted Leg of Lamb with Braised Garlic, Sherry and Thyme Au Jus

A very special meal for any occasion. For us, this was Easter Dinner. Roasted Leg of Lamb with braised garlic, sherry and thyme au jus, Herbed Mashed Potatoes and Glazed Carrots. Let’s take a look.

I prepared this meal years ago for a mid-winter dinner party. I’ve been wanting to recreate it ever since I started this blog and nothing like Easter to inspire an elegant and delicious meal featuring leg of lamb.

This all comes from Williams and Sonoma Complete Entertaining Cookbook. Published in 1993, it’s beautifully photographed and offers complete menu ideas for about any occasion. I’ve enjoyed having the book in my collection and reference it quite often.  It also has great table decorating ideas for your themed events.

Let’s start with lamb. With just an hour roast for a boneless leg, this really is quite easy. The hardest part is peeling all those garlic cloves…but wait…I just read about a new microwave method. Just pop a head of garlic into the microwave for 30 seconds, let it cool, separate cloves and the skins practically fall off. Tedious just turned into easy.

It is best to insert the garlic and thyme into the leg the day before roasting to flavor the meat more intensely, but this step can also be done the day of. Be sure to remove the lamb from the refrigerator about an hour before putting it in the oven.

  • 1 leg lamb, about 6 pounds
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into slivers
  • 12 – 14 small fresh thyme sprigs, each 1/2 inch long
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper.

Cut about 24 small shallow slits into the surface of the lamb. Insert a sliver of garlic and thyme sprig into each slit. Cover and refrigerate up to one day.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper and place in a roasting pan.

Roast for about 1 1/4 hour for rare with the bone in, or until a meat thermometer registers 130 degrees. A boneless leg will take about one hour

For the au jus and while the lamb is roasting, we”ll braise the garlic:

  • 3 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled (using microwave method)
  • Beef stock to cover
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf

In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine the garlic cloves, stock to cover barely, thyme and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat until the garlic is tender. About 25 minutes. Remove from heat and using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Strain the cooking liquid into a 2-cup measuring cup.

Then we’ll finish the au jus.

  • Beef stock as needed
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 4 t. fresh thyme
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper

Add stock to the strained liquid to measure two cups. Add the sherry and bring to a boil. Boil uncovered, over high heat until reduced by one-third. Add the chopped thyme and reserved braised garlic cloves. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and keep warm.

When the lamb is done, remove from oven and cover loosely with foil.  Let rest for ten minutes. Carve the lamb and place on individual dinner plates. Spoon some of the sauce along with garlic cloves over each serving of lamb. Serve immediately.

Roasted Leg of Lamb…It’s What’s for Easter Dinner.

Stay tuned for the side dish recipes.

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  1. says

    Umm yumm! I never make lamb for some reason, but it looks so good! Interesting tip on the garlic, I will have to try that. I LOVE garlic!

  2. says

    What a beautiful meal Lea Ann! I love Easter food. Maybe since it’s not coupled with gift giving at xmas or the expected over abundance of Thanksgiving it has become one of my favorite holiday meals. You can feel the love in your food and I’m sure it made the holiday for your family. I also adore your little plate with the pink rim! Hope you are well.

    • Lea Ann says

      Thank you so much Toni. I agree with you about the holiday over abundance Toni. Easter seems so gentle. I think that little pink plate is Versace china. I pick up salad plates when I see a pattern I like.

  3. says

    We skipped our normal lamb this year because there was only two of us. Yours looks perfect Lea Ann and I love that you’ve used sherry. Sherry adds such incredible flavor to everything it’s used in. Hope you had a great Easter weekend.

  4. says

    The whole meal looks awesome Lea Ann and the lamb looks just right. My Easter meal was cheese and crackers, but I did get to eat it on the breezey balcony overlooking Simpson Bay in Sint Maarten, so it was bearable and I had a nice bottle of Bordeaux to wash it down with. Now that I’ve written this, it may have been my best ever Easter dinner.

    • Lea Ann says

      I hear ya! One Christmas Eve in Mexico, we had the best ever holiday dinner, street tacos. :) Although a little fuzzy, I’m remembering some tequila as the wash down. :)

  5. says

    I can’t think of anything better than lamb on Easter! the braised garlic would make my family happy, we are garlic freaks! Err more like freaks, who love garlic 😉

  6. says

    What a great way to prepare a lamb roast! This will be on the menu for my next family dinner. Ham is our Easter meal and I’m not one to break those sacred traditions. You cooked your roast perfectly, Lea Ann. Just the touch of pink we love. Thanks for the tip about the garlic…what a time saver.

    • Lea Ann says

      Cathy, it’s the only way I’ve ever prepared it. I’d love to try other recipes. Surely there’s a southwestern version out there somewhere 😉

  7. says

    I can’t believe I didn’t leave a comment about this beautiful feast – I remember oohing and aah-ing and then going in for a snack. Wow, that looks so delicious! I especially love that second photo. It made me crave a cold lamb sandwich in the worst way. I wish my family liked lamb. :-(
    p.s. really beautiful bowl. 😉

  8. says

    I am not a big fan of lamb but it looks like you executed this perfectly, Lea Ann.

    BTW, I thought about you about 6 this morning because the birds were all singing their heads off at the same time and I thought even you would have a hard time distinguishing each from the other.

    • Lea Ann says

      I’m not a big fan of lamb either, but have found a couple of recipes that I really enjoy. Thanks for the “execution” compliment. :) When birds do that I feel like I’m in an insane asylum.


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