Roast Leg of Lamb in the Style of Bordeaux

Ingredients (10)

  • 1 whole bone-in leg of lamb (about 5 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thin slivers
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons rendered goose or duck fat
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or peanut oil
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
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Roast Leg of Lamb in the Style of Bordeaux

Studded with garlic and massaged with goose fat, this leg of lamb is simple to prepare and full of flavor. The shallots and vinegar make the dish a tangy, savory accompaniment to artichokes and a potato gratin, and carving the leg is easy using this technique.

This recipe was featured as part of our Easter Dinner Dishes recipe slideshow.

See also our guide on How to Cook Lamb Loin Chops.

Tips for Lamb and Christmas


  1. 1Trim off the excess fat and tough outer skin from the lamb, leaving a thin layer of fat. Make about 10 incisions near the leg bone and insert the garlic slivers. Rub the meat with the measured salt and pepper, then coat with the fat and oil. Massage into the meat. Refrigerate, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 2 to 3 hours before roasting.
  2. 2Heat the oven to 500°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  3. 3Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and shallots in a small nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the shallots and vinegar separately.
  4. 4Place the lamb on a rack in a large roasting pan and roast until browned all over, about 25 minutes. Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°F.
  5. 5Pour the reserved vinegar and water into the roasting pan. Return the lamb to the oven and roast, basting with the pan juices every 15 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 135°F to 140°F for medium rare, about 1 hour. Remove the lamb to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.
  6. 6Meanwhile, make the shallot sauce: Add the chicken stock and reserved shallots to the drippings in the roasting pan and bring to a boil across two burners over high heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Season as needed with salt and pepper. Slice the lamb and serve with the shallot sauce.
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