This roast leg of lamb recipe is infused with the aromatic flavors of sage, rosemary, garlic, and lemon, then wrapped in savory smoked pancetta for an extra layer of flavor and juiciness. It’s a beautiful centerpiece for a special occasion or a Sunday dinner that combines classic flavors with a twist.


  • 1 leg of lamb (about 2kg)
  • 1 handful of fresh sage leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 handful of fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 85g higher-welfare smoked pancetta, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). This high initial heat will help to sear the outside of the lamb, locking in its juices.
  2. Prepare the Herb Mixture: Finely chop the fresh sage leaves, rosemary, and garlic clove. Zest the lemon and mix the zest with the chopped herbs and garlic. Add a good drizzle of olive oil to create a paste.
  3. Season the Lamb: Make small incisions all over the leg of lamb using a sharp knife. Rub the herb and lemon zest mixture thoroughly all over the lamb, working some of it into the incisions. This not only flavors the meat but also helps to tenderize it.
  4. Wrap with Pancetta: Lay the slices of smoked pancetta over the lamb, covering as much of the surface as possible. The pancetta will not only add flavor but also help keep the lamb moist during roasting.
  5. Roast the Lamb: Place the lamb in a roasting tray and roast in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) and continue to roast for another 1 hour and 15 minutes for medium-rare, or longer depending on your preferred level of doneness. Use a meat thermometer to ensure perfect cooking; 60°C (140°F) for medium-rare.
  6. Rest Before Serving: Once the lamb is cooked to your liking, remove it from the oven and cover it loosely with foil. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring the meat is juicy and tender.
  7. Serve: Carve the lamb into slices, and serve with the cooking juices. The pancetta should have rendered down and crisped up, providing a lovely contrast in texture to the succulent lamb.

Prep and Cooking Time

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Resting Time: 15 minutes


  • Serves: 6-8 people

This roast leg of lamb wrapped in pancetta, seasoned with sage, rosemary, and lemon, offers a sumptuous combination of flavors that will delight your guests. The herbs and lemon provide freshness and brightness, while the pancetta adds a rich, smoky depth. It’s a recipe that celebrates the natural flavors of quality ingredients, perfect for any special occasion or Sunday roast. Enjoy the process and the delicious outcome!

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