Lamb Roast flavored with Garlic, Rosemary, & Red Currant Jelly

Leg of Lamb (Shank) and Lamb Rack

Leg of Lamb (Shank) and Lamb Rack

By Cat, June 2010 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Garlic and Rosemary are naturals with lamb (as are garlic and oregano). While mint jelly is a traditional accompaniment with roast lamb, red currant jelly is a better flavor combination with the rosemary, helping to minimize the ‘wild’ flavor of the lamb. (Red currant jelly is also a major ingredient in the Red Currant & Cranberry Sauce that accompanies Roast Rack of Reindeer (Venison), Prime Rib, or Lamb that I often serve on Christmas Day.

Lamb Roast flavored with Garlic, Rosemary, and Red Currant Jelly

This is an adaptation of Lamb Roast with Garlic & Rosemary, and optional Mint Sauce, from (1). (A Roast Leg of Lamb recipe from Superior Farms (2) was also part of the inspiration for this version, but that link is no longer valid and I cannot find its replacement).

The original uses a bone-in leg of lamb, but a rolled and tied boneless leg is easier to carve can be used for a shorter cooking time. In this version, you get a fall-off-the-bone pot roast, so the carving issue is rather mute. However, using a boneless, butterflied roast has the advantage of being rubbed with a spice mix on the ‘inside’ as well as outside, and can then be rolled and tied after the rub.

I get boneless leg of lamb from Superior Farms (2) at my local grocer, as they encourage sustainability methods with their ranchers in the US and Canada.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • Roast:
  • 5 – 6 lb bone-in leg of lamb (or 3 – 4 lb boneless, rolled & tied)
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in slivers
  • Unrefined sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp white flour
  • 2 large onions, sliced or 1 lb boiling onions (small)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as vermouth
  • 2 cups water, veggie broth, or a combo of veggie broth and beef or chicken stock if using boneless roast, to provide the nutrients from bone marrow
  • 2 Tbsp red currant jelly
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed, or 3 – 4 sprigs fresh rosemary instead of dried, if desired
  • Equipment:
  • mortar and pestle (to crush rosemary)
  • Dutch or French oven OR cast iron skillet and roasting pan


  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Cut slits in meat and insert slivers of 1 clove of garlic. Season roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Then roll roast in flour.
  3. Slice large onions, or if using boiling onions, leave them whole.
  4. Sear: Heat olive oil on top of stove, then sear seasoned and floured roast; add onions and cook 10 minutes more, turning roast and stirring onions to brown evenly.
  5. Add wine, broth, red currant jelly, remaining garlic, and rosemary to the pan, and bring to a simmer.
  6. Roast: Transfer to oven and cook 2 hours, covered, basting occasionally with the juices.
  7. Uncover and continue roasting 1 ½ hours or longer as needed for fall-off-the-bones doneness, basting as before.
  8. Remove roast to rest on cutting board.
  9. Sauce: Skim off excess fat from the liquids in the pan, then reduce sauce in pan on top of stove, mashing up the onions a bit.
  10. Serve: Using fork, remove meat from the bone and transfer to serving platter.

Serving ideas

  • Serve with seared green beans and roasted potatoes.
  • Or serve with steamed brown rice or red potatoes, and sauteed brussels sprouts.


  1. recipe for Slow Roast Leg of Lamb with White Wine (
  2. Superior Farms ( recipes for Roast and Seasoned Leg of Lamb (links: and are no longer valid)

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