Authentic Greek Roast Lamb

The ultimate Authentic Greek Roast Lamb step by step recipe: Succulent lamb roasted to perfection along with mouthwatering roasted potatoes.

Greek roast leg of lamb

Ahh the famous Authentic Greek Roast Lamb and Potatoes. This is the ultimate Greek celebratory and holiday meal. We had this for Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays and of course Easter (unless we are grilling on the lamb on the spit). Everybody loves the flavor; the juiciness of the lamb and those potatoes are heavenly: crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. And the house was full of wonderful aromas while the lamb was roasting.

Today I am sharing with you my mother’s and my grandmother’s delicious recipe (yiayia’s). This is a foolproof recipe and very traditional, none of those modern additions that have nothing to do with traditional Greek lamb. You will be getting the real thing!

Of course, as you know this meal is only consumed a few times a year. Meat was a prized food, especially lamb. Greeks are very particular of their lamb: smaller is better, well roasted (none of that pink stuff) and you need to know where it came from. Many Greeks (my family included) still have a farm and land where lambs graze and therefore know where the lamb came from.

Secrets for making the perfect Greek Roast Lamb and Potatoes

Greek Roast Lamb
  • Go for smaller lambs. In Greece lambs are generally smaller, the meat tastes better and is tender. Better to choose 2 smaller pieces rather than one larger one.
  • Garlic and oregano are considered the main herbs used for lamb, other herbs such as rosemary or thyme may be used but note that traditionalists feel that these may overpower the flavor of the lamb. You want to actually taste the lamb.
  • Do not use garlic powder. Period.
  • Potatoes are cooked in the same pan with the lamb. They are flavored with the juices and fat of the lamb.
  • Don’t try and use leaner pieces or use less olive oil. In order to have a juicy lamb and flavorful potatoes you need to roast them with this amount of fat. Remember this is a special occasion meal, it is ok to splurge a bit.
  • Do not overcook as this will result in a dry piece of meat. If the lamb has roasted and the potatoes have not, remove the lamb and continue roasting the potatoes.
  • Greek Roast Lamb is well done, it should not be pink or red inside. However, it is cooked on low heat, resulting in tender and flavorful meat. If you wish to have have your lamb medium you will have to adjust roasting times.

Authentic Greek Roast Lamb and Potatoes Ingredients

Greek Roast lamb ingredients
  • Lamb: Here I have used a leg of lamb with the bone, as I mentioned above lambs in Greece are small hence the small leg. The one I used was about 3 pounds with the bone. You may use other pieces of the lamb, but keep in mind the roasting time.
  • Herbs and spices: For this traditional Greek lamb we keep it simple. Garlic is the main ingredient that is used to flavor the lamb and then salt, pepper and dry oregano is rubbed on the meat. The potatoes will be mixed with a few cloves and allspice.
  • Olive Oil: You will be using extra virgin olive oil to coat the lamb and potatoes.
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon juice is used to flavor the potatoes.
  • Potatoes: Russet potatoes work for this recipe. You want to have somewhat large potatoes that can be cut in large wedges.

How to Make Authentic Greek Roast Lamb

1. Preheat oven at 400 F (200 C)

2. Start by washing the lamb with a bit of wine. This was done to remove any odors and traditionally they believed it “disinfected” the meat. Pat dry.

3. In a small bowl mix 2 tsp fine salt and 1 tsp or so ground pepper.

4. Rub the lamb with the salt and pepper mixture.

5. Cut the 4 garlic cloves in half and place them in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.

How to make Greek Roast Lamb 1

6. Make deep slits in the lamb (on both sides) and push in the halved garlic cloves.

How to make Greek Roast Leg of lamb

7. Rub 1 tablespoon dry oregano all over the lamb. And then rub the lamb with 3-4 tbsp olive oil and set aside

8. Prepare the potatoes. Peel and soak in water if you have time for about 15-20 minutes (you can do this while you are preparing the lamb). Drain and rinse.

9. Cut the potatoes in thick long wedges and place in a bowl.

Greek Roast Lamb and potatoes 1

10. Drizzle the potatoes with ½ cup olive oil, add 1-2 tbsp oregano, 3 tbsp lemon juice. ¾ tsp salt, 3 cloves, 3 allspice, fresh ground pepper and 2 whole garlic cloves. Toss well, so potatoes are coated with the olive oil.

11. Spread the potatoes in a large enough pan so that they are in one layer. Place the leg of lamb on top of the potatoes, top side facing down. Pour enough hot water in the corner of the pan tilting the pan so that water spreads throughout the base of the pan, covering the potatoes halfway. Cover with aluminum foil and put it in the oven.

Making Greek Roast lamb and potatoes

12. Roast for 15 minutes and then lower to 340 F (170 C), remove the foil and roast for another 30 minutes or until lamb has turned brown cook another 30 minutes on the other side until brown and cooked through.

13. Once lamb is done (temperature 150-165 F or 66-74 C), you can remove it and continue roasting the potatoes until all the water has been absorbed and only the oil is left in the pan.

** Note: Greeks generally enjoy lamb well done, which means the lamb has reached a temperature of 150-165 F (66-74). If you wish to have it less roasted keep in mind that you will need to roast it less time.

Authentic Greek Roast Lamb 1

14. Let lamb and potatoes rest for 15 minutes before serving.

What to serve with Greek roast lamb?

While the lamb is the centerpiece of the meal, I love all the side dishes much more!

How to store lamb

Lamb and potatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can reheat on low heat covered at 250 F (120 C). Although my grandmother also enjoyed it at room temperature with some extra pepper and mustard.

You may also like these recipes

Best Mediterranean Diet cookbook for beginners

Authentic Greek Roast Lamb

Greek roast leg of lamb
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
The ultimate Greek Roast Lamb step by step recipe: Succulentlamb roasted to perfection along with crunchy and lemony potatoes.
Course: Main Course, meat
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword: Greek Roast Lamb
Servings: 4
Author: OliveTomato.com
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 about 3 lbs (1.3 kg) leg of lamb bone in about 3 lbs
  • 2 ½ + ¾ tsp fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp dry oregano
  • ½ cup +2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 ½ lbs (1.7 kg) russet potatoes peeled and cut in thick wedges (see photos above)
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 3-4 allspice berries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 400 F (200 C)
  • Wash the lamb with a bit of wine. Pat dry
  • In a small bowl mix 2 tsp fine salt and 1 tsp or so ground pepper.
  • Rub the lamb with the salt and pepper mixture.
  • Cut the 4-5 garlic cloves in half and place them in a small bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper and toss.
  • Make deep slits in the lamb (on both sides) and push in the halved garlic cloves.
  • Rub 1 tablespoon dry oregano all over the lamb. And then rub the lamb with 3-4 tbsp olive oil and set aside
  • Prepare the potatoes. Peel and soak in water if you have time for about 15-20 minutes (you can do this while you are preparing the lamb). Drain and rinse.
  • Cut the potatoes in thick long wedges and place in a bowl.
  • Drizzle the potatoes with ½ cup olive oil, and add 1-2 tbsp oregano, 3 tbsp lemon juice. ¾ tsp salt, 3 cloves, 3 allspice, fresh ground pepper, and 2 whole garlic cloves. Toss well, so potatoes are coated with the olive oil.
  • Spread the potatoes in a large enough pan so that they are in one layer. Place the leg of lamb on top of the potatoes, top side facing down. Pour enough hot water in the corner of the pan tilting the pan so that water spreads throughout the base of the pan, covering the potatoes halfway. Cover with aluminum foil and put it in the oven.
  • Roast for 15 minutes and then lower to 340 F (170 C), remove the foil and roast for another 30 minutes or until lamb has turned brown flip the lamb and cook another 30 minutes on the other side until brown and cooked through.
  • Once lamb is done, you can remove it and continue roasting the potatoes until all the water has been absorbed and only the oil is left in the pan.
  • Let lamb and potatoes rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • * Note: Greeks generally enjoy lamb well done, which means the lamb has reached a temperature of 150-165 F (66-74). If you wish to have it less roasted keep in mind that you will need to roast it less time.
  • If the lamb has roasted and the potatoes have not, remove the lamb and continue roasting the potatoes.
  • Lamb and potatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can reheat on low heat covered at 250 F (120 C). Although my grandmother also enjoyed it at room temperature with some extra pepper and mustard.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Leave a comment or share on instagram and mention @greekdiet

PIN IT AND SAVE FOR LATER!

Greek Roast lamb with potatoes

Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply Mary April 16, 2022 at 8:01 am

    This was what I was looking for! It reminds me of how my aunt used to make it. Thank you5 stars

  • Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.