Swe-dishes: Swedishfood.com’s Garlic-Studded Roast Lamb

Roasted lamb

Food & Drink

Swe-dishes: Swedishfood.com’s Garlic-Studded Roast Lamb

Glad Påsk! If you are still putting the menu together for Sunday’s Easter festivities, let John Duxbury from SwedishFood.com help you out with his recipe for a garlicky, roasted lamb with charred lemon.


  • Ask your butcher to trim the lamb so it doesn’t have too much fat.
  • Also ask your butcher to part-bone the lamb, leaving just the lower part of the leg bone in the joint, so the meat is easy to carve but still holds its shape well.
  • Serve the lamb with some wild garlic pesto for a delicious double dose of garlic.
  • To complete the meal, serve the lamb with potatisgratäng (potato gratin), a medley of roasted vegetables and gravy.


  • 4 lb. part-boned leg of lamb
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt*
  • 6-10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2-3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 3-4 lemons (allow half a lemon per person)

* Swedes would normally use 2-3 tsp. of salt, so use more if desired


  1. Pre-heat your grill or oven to 350°F.
  2. Brush the lamb with some olive oil. Mix the rosemary, salt and ground black pepper and rub the mixture all over the lamb.
  3. Sear the lamb all over in a hot pan or on the grill until golden brown, allowing 1-2 minutes per side.
  4. Make slits in the lamb and put a glove of garlic and a small piece of rosemary in each slit. Halve any large cloves, if desired.
  5. Grate the skin of one of the lemons over the lamb and then insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.
  6. Roast until the inner temperature reaches 120°F, and then add the lemons, halved and cut side down.
  7. Roast until the inner temperature of the lamb reaches 143°F for rare, or 160°F for well-done. Remove the meat and lemons from the oven, cover the meat with foil and leave to rest somewhere warm for at least 20 minutes.
  8. For the lemons: Add a teaspoon of oil to a frying pan and heat until very hot. Add the lemons, cut side down and fry for 1-2 minutes, until nicely browned. Keep the lemons warm while the meat is carved.
  9. Serve the meat, hot or warm, garnished with the toasted lemon halves and a few small sprigs of rosemary.


John Duxbury enjoys cooking Swedish food and went to the trouble of learning Swedish so he could read Swedish cookbooks. The love affair with Swedish food started as a result of numerous visits to Sweden when he was working with Swedish students. When he retired from teaching he decided to set up http://www.swedishfood.com  so other people with an interest in Swedish cooking could benefit from his work.

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