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Herb Loaded Braised Leg of Lamb

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Trying to cook a whole leg of lamb is SCARY. It is big, expensive and easy to mess up. For this reason I go with braising, which is much harder to screw up and gives you juicy fall off the bone meat.

The herbs in this recipe are very flexible. Feel free to use more/less of certain herbs based on your taste preference or what you have on hand! Don’t like cilantro? Just add a little more parsley and Tarragon! Can’t find tarragon? Amp up the mint! You get the gist.

Also, I tragically did not get a good photo of the plated lamb in all the dinner party chaos, you’ll just have to take my word that the final product was beautiful and DELISH

This recipe has been modified from Epicurious’ “Spring Lamb in Herbs”

Herb Loaded Braised Leg of Lamb

Recipe by Isabelle Heikens
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: Main Course



This recipe uses an overnight marinade so plan ahead!

For this recipe I highly recommend a meat thermometer, I personally would not try to make this recipe without it.

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  • 4-5 lbs leg of lamb

  • 2 Tbsp Coriander Seeds

  • 2 Tbsp Fennel Seeds

  • 2 handfuls Parsley

  • 1 handful Cilantro

  • 1/2 handful Tarragon (one good size bunch)

  • 1 handful mint

  • 1/2 handful dill

  • 4 green onions, sliced

  • 2 small preserved lemons, skin and flesh chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 3 tsp kosher salt, plus more

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 2 cups vegetable stock


  • Toast the coriander and fennel in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes until they become very fragrant. Set them aside to cool.
  • Chop the parsley, cilantro, and dill, including the tender stems. Then, pick the leaves off the mint and tarragon. Add them to a bowl and toss to mix the herbs evenly.
  • Take a good-sized handful of the herb mixture and transfer it into a small bowl or container. Place a sheet of paper towel in the bowl, cover it, and put it in the fridge. These herbs will be used to top the dish.
  • Add the remaining herbs, toasted seeds, green onion, preserved lemon, garlic, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice to a food processor. Puree until a paste forms.
  • Using the tip of a small knife, make small slits in the lamb every ~3-4 inches. Slather the lamb with the paste and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Marinate it in the fridge overnight.
  • The next morning, remove the lamb from the fridge 1 hour before cooking so that it can come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  • Place the lamb, fat side up, in a baking dish. Pour in the vegetable stock so that it comes up around 1/3 the way up the meat. If the liquid level is too shallow, the meat may end up dry instead of braised which is why It’s important to choose a dish that’s not too big, so there’s not too much space around the lamb. Refer to the photo below for the size I used.
  • Cover the baking dish tightly with foil, to ensure all the steam gets trapped. I recommend using two layers of foil for good measure. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 3-4 hours until the internal temperature reaches 175°F or higher. When I cooked it, I checked the lamb at the 3 hour mark. The temperature read 150ish so I spooned over the braising liquid over the meat a few times, wrapped it tightly in foil again, and returned it to cook for another hour.
  • Once the lamb is done, remove it from the oven, spoon the braising liquid over the meat, tent it with foil, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • Shred the lamb and store it in the braising liquid until ready to serve. Any leftovers should also be stored in the braising liquid.
  • To serve, top the lamb with the reserved herbs and pickled red onion if desired. A garlicky yogurt sauce is also a great accompaniment!


  • Lamb can be prepared a few hours ahead, shredded, and stored in the braising liquid until ready to serve. This dish is great at room temperature!

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