Slow Roasted Moroccan Spiced Leg of Lamb is so tender it falls off the bone, melts in your mouth and is served with a delicious golden Moroccan saucy gravy.
Slow Roasted Moroccan Spiced Leg of Lamb; The Perfect Sunday Dinner
One bite of this dish with the golden gravy and you will be hooked forever. This leg of lamb is tender, juicy, fragrant and satisfying.
When the weather starts to cool down and you are home on a leisurely Sunday afternoon puttering around the home, this slow roasted Moroccan Spiced Leg of Lamb this is the perfect meal. Invite a few friends as you will have extras. If you would prefer and easy 30 minute lamb dinner full of flavor and elegance, be sure to try our Lamb Loin Roast Recipe with Pomegranate Sauce.
Low Fuss Meal
Slow Roasted Moroccan Spiced Leg of Lamb is the kind of meal that emits aromas throughout your entire house. Warning, this may entice your dog to whine for 4 hours waiting for dinner to be served.
Your family will ask, every hour on the hour, is it done yet? Is it done yet? As their hunger pains grow stronger their questioning comes more often. You can respond with a smile on your face not yet… while you hang the holiday ornaments on the tree, do the 40th load of laundry or even re-grout the bathroom tile. You may ask, why can you get these other things done when you are busy cooking? This is the easiest low stress/ low fuss meal ever. The spices and your oven does all the work. You don’t have to.
Spices are Everything
You should be home while you have the oven on but there is not a lot of active work in the process. The combination of marinating herbs and spices are what take this dish to the next level. Paprika, turmeric, saffron, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, garlic, onions, parsley and fresh ground black pepper will awaken your appetite.
We marinated our semi-boneless leg of lamb overnight. Many of the spices used having warming properties and are anti-inflammatory. Slow Roasted Moroccan Spiced Leg of Lamb is also gluten-free, dairy-free and low carb. If you love the warming spices but want something on the table in under 30 minutes, then you are going to love our Easy Moroccan Ground Lamb Stew or our Middle Eastern Ground Lamb Kabobs.
How to choose the best leg of lamb
When you go to your butcher, you can choose either a full leg of lamb or a semi-boneless leg of lamb. We have used a New Zealand semi-boneless leg of lamb that weighed in about 4.5 pounds. However, a full leg of lamb a grain fed US one can be up to 7-8 pounds. The Australian and New Zealand Leg of lambs will be smaller as they are usually grass fed. These are not lamb shanks but because of the low and slow cooking method you could also use lamb shanks and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
This recipe for the Slow Roasted Moroccan Spiced Leg of Lamb is really forgiving. You cannot really mess it up. If you leave the lamb in longer to cook, it just gets more tender. The key however is the low cooking temperature. This allows the spices to infuse the leg of lamb and tenderize. If you like the idea of slow roasting a lamb but want to try some different spices and flavors, be sure to try our Rosemary Lamb with Caramelized Onion Gravy.
The biggest issue you will have is finding a big roasting pan. Thank goodness, we had a semi-boneless leg of lamb so ours fit in a 9 x 13 roasting pan. However, if you get a full 7 pounder leg of lamb, they sell those huge heavy duty disposable aluminum pans.
There are 5 distinct steps to cooking your Slow Roasted Moroccan Spiced Leg of Lamb
1) Overnight marinade with spices and fresh herbs
2) Searing the leg of lamb in the oven at a higher temperature (425 F or 218 C)
3) Roasting and Braising the leg of lamb at a very low temperature for a long time. (300 degrees F- 148 C)
4) Browning and basting the leg of lamb (325 F or 162 C)
5) Making the delicious golden Moroccan gravy
Step 1, 2, 4 and 5 are identical for timing no matter what size leg of lamb you have.
Step 3 varies depending on the weight of your leg of lamb. Details regarding this found in the recipe section below.
What to Serve on the Side
We served our Slow Roasted Moroccan Spiced Leg of Lamb with roasted vegetables, Israeli Pearl couscous and garbanzo beans with a tomato sauce, Tabbouleh and romaine salad with feta and pomegranates seeds. and lots of olives and special pickled vegetables. For dessert, we made a Lemon Rose Cardamom Cheesecake Mousse and a Healthy Moroccan Mint Tea.
We had to make sure that the Buddy was happy too! Look who got the bone!
Hungry For More? Subscribe to our Newsletter and follow along on Facebook, You Tube, Instagram, and Pinterest for all the latest updates.
Slow Roasted Moroccan Spiced Leg of Lamb
- 1 Onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric ground
- 1 pinch saffron (1 small pinch in ⅛ cup hot water)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- 2 teaspoon cumin ground
- 1 teaspoon coriander ground
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar or sugar substitute (if not following a low carb diet then can add honey)
- 1 cup parsley roughly chopped
- 4.5 pounds Leg of lamb semi boneless
- 2 onions (peeled and quartered)
- 10 cloves garlic whole peeled (6- embedded in the leg of lamb and 4 for the bottom on the pan)
- 1 heavy duty aluminum foil large piece big enough to seal the roast.
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
Golden Sauced Gravy
- juice from the pan strained
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped optional
Create the Marinade
- In a food processor add onions, olive oil, paprika, turmeric, saffron water, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper to taste, parsley and sugar substitute. Blend until well incorporated - thick paste.
Prepare your Leg of Lamb
- make triangle slits on the top of the fat side of the leg of lamb. Remove any tough fascia from the bottom of the leg of lamb. Cut deep slit with your knife just big enough to slide in a whole garlic clove into the meat in 6-8 places. Drizzle the leg of lamb with the marinade and rub all over the lamb. Marinate the leg of lamb covered in the refrigerator overnight.
Determine what time you want to eat dinner!
- For a 4.5 pound semi-boneless leg of lamb it was 30 minutes of browning in the oven, then followed by reducing the temperature and adding the aromatics and liquids and braised covered for 3 hours and then 30 – 60 minutes of browning and 20 minutes of resting and making the gravy for a total of 4 hours and 45 minutes of cooking. If you want to eat around 6 pm… start the process around 1pm in the afternoon.
Temp high:Brown the Leg of Lamb
- Preheat oven to (425 F or 218 C) Place the chopped onions and extra garlics at the bottom of the pan. Place the marinated leg of lamb on top of vegetables and season to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle with fresh lemon juice. Roast UNCOVERED for about 30 minutes with the fat side up just until browned nicely. Keep an eye on it, so it does not get too browned. Check it at 15-20 minutes.
Temp down: Low and slow roast the leg of lamb covered
- Remove the leg of lamb from the oven. Reduce the temperature to (300 degrees F- 148 C). Turn the leg of lamb upside down with the fat side down. Pour the chicken broth around the leg of lamb. Cover tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place the leg of lamb back in the oven and cook for about 3 hours at this lower temperature. Check on it after 2 hours to make sure that you still have liquid in the pan and that the leg of lamb is starting to get tender. After the 3rd hour, check to see that the leg of lamb is tender, almost falling off bone.
Temp up: 325F and finish lamb uncovered
- Remove the aluminum foil and turn up the temperature and cook for about 30-60 minutes until the leg of lamb is fall off the bone tender and nicely browned. Remove from oven and tent with foil and keep warm and rest for about 20 minutes.
Make Golden Sauce Moroccan Gravy
- In the meantime, strain your juice to remove garlic and onions, (REMOVE the OIL from the top of the pan sauce with a spoon. You will have a lot of oil) place in a sauce pan and heat with cornstarch slurry until the back of a spoon clings. Remove from the stovetop and add a dab of butter and stir. Check and adjust seasoning.
- Garnish with parsley. Serve your Slow roasted Moroccan Spiced leg of lamb at the dining room table. The meat is so tender you can just pull apart with 2 forks. Drizzle over the golden Moroccan spiced gravy over the lamb and enjoy!
Heidi | The Frugal Girls says
I really appreciated your tips for how to time this dish... and your homemade marinade was so so good. YUM!
HWC Magazine says
Thank you Heidi. If you love a delicious fall off the bone tender lamb, you are going to love this recipe. The marinade for this Moroccan spiced leg of lamb, really adds so much flavor to the dish.
Can I make this recipe with a 4.8lb boneless leg? What will the cooking time be like?
HWC Magazine says
Hi Subha, thanks for your question. Boneless leg of lamb will take less time in the oven. We have not tested this recipe with a boneless leg of lamb but we would suggest reducing the the covered braising time from 3 hours to 2.0 hours to 2.5 hours and check to see if the lamb feels tender and pulls away with your fork. If not put it back in the oven to continue braising covered for another few minutes and keep checking on it until the meat is almost pull apart tender. Then finish off the recipe as described in the recipe card. Hope this helps. Stay well and take care
Love lamb and love both Moroccan and Tunisian cooking. Your offering looks lovely . . . both a leg or a shoulder of lamb would cook beautifully using this recipe but since this is as yet not quite dinner party time methinks I'll try it with shanks ! Yes our animals are almost always grown naturally in grassy paddocks . . . quite frankly I do not buy meat that is not ! I shall try your North African spice mix as it is - have been too dependent on the many beautiful ras el hanout mixes from my spice merchants !
HWC Magazine says
Glad to see are also a lamb lover like us, Eha! Lamb shanks would be a great substitution when cooking for 1 or 2 people, but you are going to want a wee bit of leftovers for the next day- throw in an extra shank. (smiling) Take Care
Betty Davies says
Lamb is one of my favourites, and it lends itself so well to those Moroccan flavours! YUMMM!!! P.S. Can I borrow Buddy for a weekend?!
Oh my, the flavours in this look incredible! I do not eat lamb often enough, I definitely have to try this soon! And I'm glad the pup got to join in the feast too!
jane @ littlesugarsnaps says
Why do I never get around to marinating my joint overnight? I'm so glad I read your post as it's reminded me that it's exactly what I should be doing. One of my kids is borderline vegetarian but this meal is definitely happening for the rest of us when she's scheduled to eat at a friends house.
HWC Magazine says
Thank you Jane. Yes, the marination is the key it really adds heaps of flavor to this recipe. We made a delicious Israeli tomato sauced couscous with garbanzo beans and spices and this would work well for your borderline vegetarian. Wishing you a super holiday season. Take Care
Emma @ Bake Then Eat says
Nothing beats a warming comforting meal in the winter, and it definetly seems to have pleased buddy as well 😀
HWC Magazine says
Thank you Emma, Buddy is a very lucky dog indeed! Take Care
HWC Magazine says
Thank you Emma! Buddy really lucked out on this meal for sure. Take care