Quick prep, 90 minutes or less to roast, and full of flavor. That is what you get with this Moscato Yogurt Marinated Leg of Lamb. This is definitely a meal that wows with minimal effort. So if you want your company to think you spent hours slaving over the stove for them this holiday season… this is the meal to make!
When you are making a holiday dinner for a small crowd or just your family you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen prepping and cooking. That is what I love about a tender juicy leg of lamb.
Now leg of lamb can get a bit pricey, that is why I only make it for special occasions or a small dinner party. To prep, it takes a few minutes to throw together the marinade, which it will sit in for 24 hours absorbing the flavors. The awesome thing is that it typically takes less than 90 minutes to roast. Making it possible for me to enjoy the company of everyone around me!
I learned that marinating meat in yogurt helps make it tender by my mother. It was a technique she learned while my family was stationed in Turkey. This was in the late 1980’s early 1990’s, so I was just a wee one and don’t remember too much, however, I do remember the food was always fresh!
Leg of lamb here in the States can generally be found behind the butcher counter at your local grocery store. Most are boneless but ask to be sure.
Now for the marinade, I just buy the small individual plain Greek yogurt. Take two tablespoons out of it and set the rest aside for another day or another recipe. Mix in Moscato, herbs, salt and pepper.
Place your leg of lamb in a large Ziploc bag, pour marinade in and rotate it a few times until the leg of lamb is completely coated. Set in a shallow baking dish and allow to marinate in your fridge for 24 hours.
The day you are ready to roast remove the leg of lamb from the fridge, keeping it in the Ziploc bag, and allow it to rest on the counter for 1 hour before you cook it. This allows the lamb to warm to room temperature, ensuring it doesn’t seize up during the cooking process.
Once it has rested, place in cast iron skillet and in the oven, allow it to cook 40 minutes until the internal temp reads 134-140 degrees (medium). Typically I hate taking the temperature of meat, it’s not how I was taught, but when it comes to lamb it is wise to check the temp. Overcooked lamb is tough and gamy and really not enjoyable!
Once the desired temp is reached, remove from the oven and allow to rest 15 minutes before carving. One tip, while the meat is resting, it is still cooking so remove it at 137-139 degrees or the desired temp.
REMEMBER! These times are only guidelines. Depending on many factors, your lamb leg may roast slower or faster. Check after 40 minutes and then continue roasting, checking frequently, until the lamb reaches your desired internal temperature.
Oven Roasting Temperature: 325°F
Rare: 125°F (about 15 minutes per pound)
Medium-Rare: 130°F to 135°F (about 20 minutes per pound)
Medium: 135°F to 140°F (about 25 minutes per pound)
Well-Done: 155°F to 165°F (about 30 minutes per pound)
Once Moscato Yogurt Marinated Leg of Lamb has rested it is time to carve and enjoy!! Happy Holiday’s
If you would like to cook this entire meal check out:
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Simple Flavorful way to marinate and cook a holiday leg of lamb. If you're looking for a crowd pleasing recipe this is the way to go!
- 1 4-7lb boneless leg of lamb
- 2 tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 tbsp Moscato wine
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill weed
- 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped mint
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
In a medium mixing bowl combine yogurt, Moscato, garlic, onion, paprika, thyme, dill, mint, lemon zest and lemon juice.
Place leg of lamb in a large Ziploc bag and pour yogurt blend over it. Seal and rotate the lamb several times until fully covered. Remove any excess air from bag place in shallow dish and refrigerate overnight.
1 hour before cooking the lamb remove from oven and allow to rest on the counter.
Preheat oven to 325
Remove lamb from bag and place in cast iron skillet, place in oven and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes until the internal temp of the lamb is 135 degrees to 140 degrees.
Remove from oven and allow to rest 10-15 minutes before carving.
Serve and Enjoy
This recipe I do recommend using a thermometer. Lamb is a trick meat if you over cook it there is a chance it will be tough and gamy.