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Slow-Cooked Leg of Lamb with Spiced Yogurt and Herbs

"We have wood-burning ovens that retain a lot of heat after a day of cooking pizzas," explains Travis Lett. "So we often use them overnight for things like this slow-cooked leg of lamb." While Lett cooks his lamb for up to 10 hours, this version in a conventional oven cuts the cooking time by more than half.


slideshow  More Lamb Recipes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 onions, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 15 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 3 jalapeños, seeded and quartered
  • One 5-pound semi-boneless leg of lamb (aitchbone removed), tied
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
spiced yogurt
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
herb salad
  • 3/4 cup packed parsley leaves
  • 3/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 cup snipped chives
  • 1 jalapeño—halved, seeded and very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Cooked couscous, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a roasting pan large enough to hold the lamb, whisk the chicken stock with the wine, lemon juice, honey, allspice, cloves, coriander, paprika, oregano, thyme and peppercorns. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeños in an even layer. Season the lamb all over with salt and pepper and place it in the roasting pan, fat side up.
  2. Braise the lamb, uncovered, for 45 minutes until it just starts to brown. Reduce the oven temperature to 325° and braise for about 2 hours and 30 minutes longer, until the meat is nicely browned and starting to pull away from the bone. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain the braising liquid into a medium saucepan and skim off the fat. Boil the liquid until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Season the jus with salt and pepper; keep warm.
  4. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cut the strings off of the lamb and carve the meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the lamb on a bed of couscous on a large, deep platter. Drizzle the jus and spiced yogurt over the lamb, top with the herb salad and serve.

Make Ahead

The lamb can be refrigerated with its reduced jus overnight. Reheat and slice before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Dark, blackberry-scented Syrah.

Contributed By Photo © Dave Lauridsen Published September 2011

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