Red Wine Braised Leg of Lamb

Looking for a memorable meal this season? Braised in red wine, this flavorful leg of lamb cooks low and slow, allowing it to bathe in its own juices. The result is a tender, yet mild lamb cradled in a rich au jus of pearl onions, carrots, red potatoes, garlic, and fresh basil. It’s the perfect special occasion centerpiece that can be served as a meal on its own or alongside your choice of sides.

Looking for more lamb recipes? Check out my Lamb Meatballs with Buttery Lemon Orzo, Instant Pot Curry Lamb Shanks, Roasted Rack of Lamb, and Greek Lamb Burger with Tzatziki Sauce.

A whole boneless leg of lamb braised with potatoes and veggies

I personally love lamb, and if you’re a meat-lover and have yet to venture into the delicious world of lamb, then this is the recipe to try. We’ll be using a leg of lamb in this recipe. This is a lean cut with a robust and mild flavor profile.

This Red Wine Braised Leg of Lamb is perfect for special occasions and really any day of the week. The thought of lamb braising in the oven for hours until it’s super tender will have you feeling as though you hired a personal chef for dinner. Thankfully, you won’t need a chef to prepare this meal.

So what makes lamb so special?

raw boneless leg of lamb
  • I’ve heard folks describe lamb as “gamey,” but that has not been my experience with Pasture-raised lamb. The flavor profile is mild, and it is amazingly tender.
  • Lamb is a high-quality protein packed with nutrients like Iron, Zinc, Omega-3, and B vitamins.
  • Lamb is extremely easy to cook with. As a matter of fact, this recipe is a great example of this. It is a leave-it-and-forget-it recipe. Once you’ve seasoned and seared the lamb, combine everything into a dutch oven (paid link) and let time do the rest.
braised lamb with potatoes, carrots, and pearl onions

Ingredients you’ll need to make leg of lamb:

braised leg of lamb ingredients
  • A 5 lb. leg of lamb is need for this recipe. You can go with a boneless or bone-in cut. I used a boneless version. If you’re using a bone-in cut, be mindful of the cooking time as a bone-in leg of lamb takes longer to cook.
  • I kept it simple for the lamb seasonings. A simple blend of sea salt, organic ground white pepper, garlic powder, and oregano is all you’ll need. You want that lamb to shine and not be overpowered by anything.
  • The leg of lamb will roast in the oven in a red wine broth. This broth is made using red wine (of course), vegetable broth, tomato paste, butter, and cornstarch (used as a thickener). You can also use a port for a slightly sweeter flavor.
  • To make this an easy and complete meal, you’ll throw in petite red potatoes, pearl onions, and baby carrots. Feel free to get creative here as there are so many options. Brussels sprouts, turnips, sweet potatoes, and celery are all great options. Make it your own!
  • Because the broth will need a little seasoning love, we’ll add in whole bay leaves, sea salt, sage, garam masala, garlic powder, and organic ground thyme. I can smell it from here!

How to make braised leg of lamb:

Pre-heat your oven to 305 degrees.

You will begin this recipe by combining your lamb seasonings (sea salt, organic ground white pepper, garlic powder, and oregano). Season your leg of lamb evenly on both sides.

searing leg of lamb in Dutch oven

On the stovetop, heat your dutch oven (paid link) pot to high heat. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil and sear both sides of the lamb for 3 minutes. Once seared, remove it from the dutch oven (paid link) and set it to the side.

Lower the heat on the pot to medium heat and add butter. Once the butter is melted, add in the cornstarch and stir until it binds, followed by the tomato paste, red wine, and vegetable stock. I choose to use a Bourbon barreled red blend wine because of the in-depth flavor it brings out, but any red blend of your liking will work just fine. Cooking this lamb in red wine will add acidity and a slight sweetness to the dish.

Adding garlic into holes in lamb

While the lamb is resting, slit 3 small holes on the bottom side and place 1 garlic clove in each hole. It would be best if you placed the holes a few inches apart.

adding red potatoes to broth

Add the remaining broth seasonings to the dutch oven (paid link) and stir it before placing the leg of lamb back into the pot. Add the remaining garlic cloves, red petite potatoes, pearl onions, baby carrots, and bay leaves, and bring the broth to a slight boil. Typically leg of lamb is simply roasted with potatoes and herbs, so I wanted to put my hat in the ring and add my spin to this delicious dish.

Note: You want your vegetables and stock to fill your dutch oven (paid link) halfway. This is, in essence, what braising is — searing your lamb on all sides to lock in the natural juices and caramelize the lamb’s exterior, then partially submerge the lamb and roast it in a sealed pot or pan.

adding bay leaves to broth

Place the dutch oven (paid link) covered into the oven for 4 hours. The main factor in keeping your meat tender and juicy is making sure you have a tightly sealed top, and a dutch oven (paid link) is the best option for the task.

Once the 4 hours of baking time is complete, keep the pot covered and sit for an additional hour removed from the heat. Slicing the lamb before it has had a chance to rest will allow the juices to escape, which will ultimately dry out your meat. This lamb leg will be so tender it will melt in your mouth. It may take some time, but I will tell you that it will be well worth it!

I absolutely love the rich flavors you get from a great cut of lamb. Whether you enjoy a leg of lamb, rack of lamb, or another great cut, this dish is a nice festive dish to serve on special gatherings like Easter, Mother’s Day, and any other spring holiday.

whole roasted leg of lamb

What can I serve with this dish?

You can serve this dish with rice, mashed potatoes, or roasted vegetables. if can even be enjoyed solo with the added potatoes and baby carrots.

And how can I use any leftovers?

There are so many ways to enjoy this lamb after the fact. Make a lamb sandwich, tacos, quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwich, enjoy a lamb stir fry, fold into your favorite pasta and sauce, or even slice your lamb and create a lamb pizza.

single serving of sliced lamb

If you are deciding what to make for your family, give this Red Wine Braised Leg of Lamb recipe a spot on your table. It can also serve as the star of the show for upcoming holidays, including Christmas, Passover, and Easter.

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braised leg of lamb

Red Wine Braised Lamb Leg


  • Author: Eric Jones
  • Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Description

Braised in red wine, this flavorful leg of lamb cooks low and slow, allowing it to bathe in its own juices. The result is a tender yet mild lamb cradled in a rich au jus of pearl onions, carrots, red potatoes, garlic, and fresh basil.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 5 lb boneless leg of lamb*
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb baby carrots
  • 1 cup pearl onions
  • 1 lb petite red potatoes
  • 2 whole bay leaves


Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 305 degrees. 
  2. Season the leg of lamb with sea salt, ground white pepper, garlic powder, and oregano coating the meat evenly. 
  3. Heat a dutch oven (paid link) on the stovetop at high heat. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil and sear the lamb for 3 minutes per side. Remove the lamb from the dutch oven (paid link) and set it to the side.
  4. Lower heat to medium and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add cornstarch, stirring until it binds. Add tomato paste, red wine, vegetable broth, sea salt, rubbed sage, garam masala, garlic powder, and ground thyme into the pot and stir.
  5. Slice 3 small slits a few inches apart on the bottom of the lamb leg and add 1 fresh garlic clove in each hole.
  6. Place the lamb back into the dutch oven (paid link). Add the carrots, pearl onions, petite red potatoes, bay leaves, and the 2 remaining garlic cloves in the dutch oven (paid link).
  7. Bring the broth to a slight boil, then remove from heat. Cover and bake for 4 hours at 305 degrees and allow it to rest covered for an additional hour. 

Equipment

Notes

You can go with a boneless or bone-in cut. I used a boneless version. If you’re using a bone-in cut, be mindful of the cooking time, as a bone-in leg of lamb takes longer to cook.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Category: Comfort Food
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Calories: 638
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 1153mg
  • Fat: 22g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.4g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 69.8g
  • Cholesterol: 212mg

Keywords: Red Wine Braised Leg of Lamb, Leg of Lamb, Roasted Leg of Lamb

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6 Comments

  1. Is this for a bone in or boneless leg?

    1. Eric Jones says:

      Hi, Hayley! This recipe uses a boneless leg of lamb.

  2. absolutely Delicious! The lamb was so flavorful and tender and juicy! I’ll be making this again!






  3. Dude, this recipe turned out awesome. I had a 6.5 lb boneless leg of lamb so I doubled your rub ingredients. I didn’t have veggie stock so used combo of beef bone broth and beef stock. Used a cab sav for the wine and otherwise followed your instructions to the letter. DUDE, I converted some non-lamb eaters with this Christmas roast. We had a glazed, spiral sliced ham also and they barely touched it.






    1. Eric Jones says:

      Man, you just made my day! Thanks for sharing, and I’m glad everyone enjoyed the lamb. Lamb is so underrated, and it is great to see folks giving it a go!

  4. 305 seems like an odd temperature to cook this. Pretty precise I guess.