Slow roasted leg of lamb: it's the herby butter rub that makes it so special

This slow roasted leg of lamb recipe is rubbed with a herby butter for a fresh, flavorsome meat that's perfect for long, weekend lunches

Slow roasted leg of lamb
(Image credit: Lidl)

This slow roasted leg of lamb recipe makes the most of a shoulder joint: the herby butter rub adds a fresh flavour to it that doesn't deserve to be saved for spring alone. It takes about half an hour to prep the rub and meat and around two and a half hours to slow cook in the oven, plus you'll want the meat to stand for half an hour when it comes out – so get started early if you want to serve it for lunch. The upside? Once in the oven, it's pretty maintenance-free, makes its own gravy and is brilliant for leftover lamb recipes...

  • Roast lamb: this recipe with pancetta is the perfect Sunday lunch
  • Lamb recipes: 12 ways to enjoy lamb – roast, curry and more

Slow roasted leg of lamb

(Image credit: Lidl)
  • Thanks to Lidl for this recipe


  • 1.8 to 2kg shoulder of lamb 
  • 2 red onions, peeled 
  • 1 white onion, peeled 
  • 2 lemons, sliced in half 
  • 200 ml vegetable stock 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 25g butter, softened 
  • 10g rosemary leaves, stalks removed, finely chopped 
  • 10g parsley, finely chopped 
  • 10g mint leaves, stalks removed, finely chopped


1. Preheat your oven to 325ºF/170ºC/150ºC fan/ gas mark 3.

2. First make the rub. Mash the softened butter with a fork until it is very soft, then add in the chopped rosemary leaves and combine with the butter. Do the same with the other herbs. Season the herby butter with salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. If the joint is tied with strings, move them to either end of the joint so that you can slash across the top of the joint in a criss-cross pattern with a sharp knife. Then move the strings back to hold the joint neatly in place while it cooks. 

4. Rub the herby butter into the slits in the top of the joint and any that's left across the top of the lamb. Set aside.

5. Chop up your onions into thick wedges and arrange them on a large, deep roasting tray. Squeeze lemon juice over the onions, then add the lemon skins to the tray with the onions. Pour over the stock. Pop the lamb on top of the lemons, onions and stock, and cover the whole tray loosely with foil. Roast for two hours.

6. After the two hours, remove the foil and return the tray to the oven for another hour, until the lamb is golden brown and very tender. 

7. Remove from the tray oven and leave the lamb to rest for 30 minutes. Serve with with the onion pieces and juices from the tray on the side. Bin the lemon husks!

8. Sides? Roast potatoes are unbeatable – check our ultimate recipes. Green beans, broccoli, greens... whatever takes your fancy.

Read more: