Greek inspired lemon and honey glazed slow cooked leg of lamb. Lemony, garlicky and with subtle hints of sweetness. This lamb roast recipe is super simple and will satisfy all your taste buds. Plus I will also show you how to use the lambs juices to season your potatoes to get incredible flavour. I’m talking roast potatoes that are crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy in the middle.
GREEK LEMON HONEY OREGANO & GARLIC LEG OF LAMB
When people hear ‘Greek lamb’, most think of kleftiko. Slow cooked lamb and potatoes where the lamb is so succulent it falls off of the bone and the potatoes are so soft they cut like butter. This is a fantastic simple dish to make, you can find my klefiko recipe by clicking here. The difference between kleftiko and Greek lemon and honey glazed leg of lamb is:
Kleftiko is rich and heavy and better eaten in the colder months when you crave more warming, rich comfort foods. Bay leaves and cloves season both the meat and potatoes which are all cooked in the lambs juices giving a fragrant warming taste. The lamb is so soft you don’t need to physically pull the meat off. It just drops off of the bone when you pick it up. Kleftiko potatoes are velvety and soft. Kind of like a cross between a boiled and mashed potato, with the texture of butter and a subtle meaty flavour.
GREEK LEMON & HONEY GLAZED LEG OF LAMB & POTATOES
Greek lemon and honey glazed leg of lamb is lighter. It is not as rich or fatty and better eaten in the warmer months. The lamb is less fatty because lemon juice cuts through the fat and the addition of garlic and oregano add a light fragrance. The addition of honey adds a sweetness that balances the tart lemon juice and bitter lemon zest and also a crispy skin. The potatoes are not cooked in with the lamb but separately in the lambs juices which gives them a crispy skin and a soft fluffy center.
HOW TO MAKE LAMB TENDER
To get my lamb as tender as possible and jam packed full of flavour:
- I add slots all the way around and in each slot I add a slice of garlic. This makes sure the garlicky flavour penetrates all the way through my lamb
- To get my lamb as tender as possible I squeeze the juice of a whole lemon all over it. The acid in the lemon breaks down the tough parts and also sets the foundation of our lemony flavour
- I cover my seasoned leg of lamb with foil and leave it to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. This allows all the flavours to marinate the lamb and also come to room temperature. Having your lamb at room temperature before it goes into the oven stops the meat toughening up. If you add a cold leg of lamb to a hot oven the meat fibres will tighten up straight away leading to tough dry meat. Whereas if your meat is at room temperature before it goes into the oven, the difference in temperature is closer together so the lamb wont have as big of a shock and will end up being all soft and juicy.
The above steps are just the prep work to getting leg of lamb as tender and flavourful as possible. The cooking is the next step in achieving soft succulent meat.
SLOW COOKED LEG OF LAMB
The key to getting your lamb soft, juicy and succulent is to cook it on a low heat for a long time and basting it often with its juices. I turn my timer on for 30 minutes so I know to go and baste my lamb, I cover again with foil and cook for another 30 minutes. The foil traps in all the heat which steams the lamb and locks in the flavour. Repeating the basting for the next 2-3 hours, every 30 minutes is the key.
GREEK LEMON & HONEY MARINADE FOR LAMB
The lemon and honey work perfectly together to give the lamb a sweet and sour flavour. As the honey caramelises it forms a crispy skin that complements the soft velvety lamb. You may think the addition of honey will make the lamb taste like a dessert, but it doesn’t. The extra lemon juice and lemon zest tone down the honeys sweetness leaving the lamb tasting delicious.
INGREDIENTS FOR GREEK LEMON & HONEY GLAZE
To make the best tasting Greek lemon and honey lamb marinade you will need:
- 2 tbsp honey
- The juice of 1 lemon
- The zest of 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
GREEK LEG OF LAMB & POTATOES
To me the perfect roast potato is crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy in the middle. You can see how I make the perfect roast potatoes by clicking here. I follow the same technique but I use the lambs juices so the flavours flow through both.
THE SECRET TO THE BEST ROAST POTATOES
To get the most flavour and a crispy texture you need to boil your potatoes for 10 minutes and then drain and rough them up a bit. As the potatoes steam and cool they dry out a little so when flavour is added to them they absorb it all like a sponge. Roughing them up will created uneven edges so when the lambs juices are added all the little nooks and cranny’s will fill up the lambs juices and created different thicknesses of crispness.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH GREEK LEMON & HONEY LEG OF LAMB & POTATOES
I like to serve my sweet and sour slow roasted leg of lamb with crispy potatoes, my 30 minutes lemoniest lemon rice, orange honey glazed carrots, roasted tomatoes and onions.
- 2 kg Leg of lamb
- 5 Garlic cloves (sliced)
- Olive oil
- 1 Lemon (juice)
LEMON & HONEY MARINADE
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 1 Lemon (zest & juice)
- Olive oil
- 2.5 kg Potatoes
- 2 Baking tray
- 1 Knife
- 1 Large Pan
- 1 Bowl
- 2 Spoons
- Preheat your oven to 180'C
- Cut slots all te way around your lamb and add a slice of garlic into each hole
- Drizzle olive oil over your lamb so all of it is covered, then the juice of a whole lemon, oregano, salt and pepper and the cover with foil and leave for 30 minutes to marinate and come to room temperature
- Add your lamb to your preheated oven and turn your timer on for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes take your lamb out and baste it with the juices, cover again with foil and cook for another 30 minutes. Repeating the basting for the next 2-3 hours, every 30 minutes
- For the last hour boil your potatoes for 10 minutes then drain and rough them up a bit.
- Get most of your lambs juices and put them in a baking tray. Add your fluffed up potatoes and roll them around so they are fully covered and put them in the oven on the bottom shelf and cook for 25 minutes
LEMON & HONEY GLAZE
- To a bowl add 2 tbsp of honey, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, some olive oil, salt and pepper and whisk together
LAMB & POTATOES
- When your 25 minutes are up take your potatoes out of the oven and turn them over and cook for another 25 minutes
- Take your lamb out and drizzle over your lemon and honey marinade, making sure all your lamb is covered and put it back in the oven without the foil and cook for 25 minutes
- Serve with lemon rice, orange honey glazed carrots, roasted tomatoes and onions.
If you are looking for a dessert to make to eat after your lamb roast how about a Greek Cypriot dessert click here, or one of my many show stopping cakes click here or desserts click here or how about some traditional Greek coffee click here.