I've done more than a few lamb dishes dedicated to Easter, but inexplicably have never posted one for a whole leg of lamb. It's such a classic Easter menu option, and, when prepared using this method, makes for a very user-friendly hunk of meat.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
1 hr 45 mins
additional:
8 hrs 15 mins
total:
10 hrs 20 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Stir 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses, garlic, rosemary, kosher salt, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, mint, and cumin together in a bowl.

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  • Arrange the butterflied leg of lamb onto a work surface with the fatty side facing down. Cut 2 deep slashes in each of the the fleshy ends of the meat. Flip the lamb and cut 10 to 20 shallow slashes across the surface of the fat.

  • Spread 3/4 the pomegranate molasses mixture onto the meat-side of the lamb to coat completely. Fold meat together and turn into a large bowl. Spread remaining pomegranate mixture over the fatty side of the meat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place a roasting rack in the bottom of a roasting pan.

  • Remove lamb from marinade and discard excess marinade. Gather roast and place onto a work surface with fatty side facing upwards. Tie the center section of the roast with kitchen twine to cinch the roast together. Repeat ties four times along the length of the roast.

  • Season roast with salt and transfer to prepared roasting pan. Pour water below the rack to cover the bottom of the pan.

  • Roast in the preheated oven until hot and slightly pink in the center, about 1 3/4 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 135 degrees F (57 degrees C). Rest for 15 minutes, transfer to a plate, and brush with remaining pomegranate molasses.

Cook's Note:

You can substitute red pepper flakes for the Aleppo pepper.

Nutrition:

The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the marinade ingredients. The actual amount of the marinade consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

344 calories; protein 31.9g 64% DV; carbohydrates 5.8g 2% DV; fat 20.6g 32% DV; cholesterol 115.3mg 38% DV; sodium 823.5mg 33% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (75)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
09/11/2015
I hadn't heard of Aleppo Pepper before, and looked for it for this recipe. Current conflict in Syria (Aleppo) has affected the availability of this spice. Pray for peace! Here is a substitute: 4 parts sweet paprika, one part cayenne pepper. Read More
(37)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
09/22/2019
I was honestly displeased with this. Maybe my oven is on the hotter side, but it turned out dryer than a toenail. The molasses (naturally) burnt , but didn’t provide a good flavor as a result (it just tasted burnt) . First time I ever made lamb with mint and truthfully, we did not enjoy that flavor addition either. I will not be making this again sadly, my guests were polite but did not enjoy it as well. I do love the pomegranate molasses and its flavor , so I might try cooking a rack with it or something that doesn’t roast as long as this did. Read More
88 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 80
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
09/11/2015
I hadn't heard of Aleppo Pepper before, and looked for it for this recipe. Current conflict in Syria (Aleppo) has affected the availability of this spice. Pray for peace! Here is a substitute: 4 parts sweet paprika, one part cayenne pepper. Read More
(37)
Rating: 5 stars
04/04/2015
I used John's recipe to cook a leg of lamb for Christmas. Home run for my finicky eaters. I like the way he details how to prepare the meat by cutting slashes. I did substitute honey for the molasses. Chef John is my go-to when trying new dishes. Read More
(18)
Rating: 5 stars
12/26/2014
Thank you Chef John for making our Christmas dinner a smashing success! I followed your special pomegranate mollases recipe and it was wonderful! I tripled the recipe for 3 boneless lamb roasts of about 5 pounds each and after marinating them overnight I gave a fun layer of fresh baby spinach leaves goat cheese and chopped sweetened dried cranberries before rolling them up. I used the elastic wrappers that came with the lamb roasts to package them up and placed them side-by-side on a roasting rack with a little water at the bottom of the pan. They turned out perfectly! And we made lamb gravy for the mashed potatoes with the drippings. Wow! Heaven! Merry Christmas Chef John and thank you for your excellent advice! Leslie Read More
(13)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/27/2016
I had to make my own pomegranate molasses, but it was pretty easy and the roast was awesome! Recipe I used for the molasses was 4c.pomegranate juice, 1/2 c. sugar, and 1/4 c. lemon juice reduced down over low simmering heat - about one hour. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
09/14/2014
Chef John I want to thank you for sharing this recipe for all of us to make. I did it exactly as you describe. It came out outstanding!!! I will certainly be making this again. Thank you!! Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
03/30/2015
Even if I didn't love cooking I would watching you. I grow my own pomegranates and make my own jellies--this year I will also add molasses and syrup. This one goes in the oven---but the one sitting in the freezer I will cook south Texas style==outside over mesquite. Since I do alot of cooking for ranch hands and family I want the best ideas. Every time I see one of your recipes try it. I like your quality.Thank you very much. Read More
(7)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/26/2015
I made this for the family this weekend and it was simply amazing! Although I could not find Pomogranate Molasses I took some plain dark molasses and added cranberry juice then reduced it. For anyone who hasn't made a lamb roast before (like me!) I highly recommend watching Chef John's video. It was soooo helpful. The recipe is definitely a holiday type or great serve for special guests you want to impress and the best part is that it isn't hard at all. Thanks again! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
01/09/2016
Fantastic. The only change I made was that I omitted the garlic from the marinade. Instead i used about 10 cloves cut into thick slivers and cut deep slits all over the meat and inserted the garlic into the slits. After cooking I defatted the juices from the pan and added 1 Tbs of pom molasses and served that on the side. I started with a boneless leg weighing about 3 pounds. Cooking in my convection oven it only took about 75 minutes to roast. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
01/31/2015
Delicious! Our guests loved it too! The only change I made was to add a little organic dark brown sugar to the marinade as I found it too tart without it. All Chef John's instructions about how to prepare the leg of lamb were clear and worked out perfectly. Thank you! Read More
(3)
Rating: 2 stars
09/22/2019
I was honestly displeased with this. Maybe my oven is on the hotter side, but it turned out dryer than a toenail. The molasses (naturally) burnt , but didn’t provide a good flavor as a result (it just tasted burnt) . First time I ever made lamb with mint and truthfully, we did not enjoy that flavor addition either. I will not be making this again sadly, my guests were polite but did not enjoy it as well. I do love the pomegranate molasses and its flavor , so I might try cooking a rack with it or something that doesn’t roast as long as this did. Read More