Recipe: Icelandic leg of lamb

Something for the weekend? An easy-peasy leg of lamb.

Something for the weekend? An easy-peasy leg of lamb. Photo:

Lamb is undoubtedly one of Iceland's finest culinary ingredients. Free-range during summer, their natural diet of sedge, willow, thrift, moss campion, and berries gives them a distinctive taste. Here's a recipe for that Icelandic Sunday dinner favourite: A roast leg of lamb. 


  • 1 leg of lamb
  • 1 lemon
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • Fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • Fresh thyme, or even better, creeping thyme which is found all over Iceland
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • A pinch of sea salt

Remove any extra or unwanted fat from the leg of lamb. Make several deep incisions into the meat and place a piece of garlic inside. Mix together the dried herbs with the olive oil and lemon and marinade the lamb in the mixture for around one hour at room temperature. 

Place the fresh herbs on the leg of lamb and put on an oven dish into an oven that's been heated to 200° C and after around half an hour, lower the temperature to 175 degrees and cook it for another hour. This amount of time is for a leg of lamb of about 2,2 - 2,5 kilos cooked medium rare. 

Let the meat stand for about 15 minutes before carving. 

Traditionally in Iceland, leg of lamb is served with a brown sauce similar to gravy but with cream, caramelized potatoes, canned green peas served cold, preferably from the ORA label and red cabbage, also served cold. 

For a more modern and healthy version, serve lamb with roast vegetables ( sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, potatoes, celeriac or fennel), a minty yoghurt sauce and a side salad. 




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