Legendary Dishes | Ofnbakað Lambalæri (roast leg of lamb)


In Iceland a leg of lamb is smeared with seasoned melted butter, slow-roasted on a rack with stoch, then served with carmelised potatoes, vegetables and a sweet sauce made with the juices of the roasting tray. Modern versions will include garlic and herbs.

  • 2.25 kg leg of lamb
  • 750 ml meat broth
  • 30 g butter, melted
  • 5 garlic cloves, quartered (optional)
  • 4 rosemary sprigs (optional)
  • 4 thyme sprigs (optional)
  • 10 g black peppercorns, coarse ground
  • 5 g salt


  • 300 ml cream
  • 100 ml lamb juices
  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g flour
  • 30 g redcurrant jelly
  • Seasonings


  • 1 kg small potatoes, boiled whole, skinned, cooled
  • 100 g sugar
  • 30 g butter

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the lamb on a rack in a baking tray. Mix the melted butter with the black pepper and salt, smear over all sides of the lamb. If using the garlic make cuts in the flesh of the lamb, insert the garlic pieces and, if using the herbs, some spears of rosemary. Pour the stock into the tray and, is using, the thyme. Roast lamb for 50 minutes at 180°C.

Decrease to 140°C . Roast for two hours. Baste occasionally. Increase heat to 200°C top and bottom heat. Roast for 20 minutes, turning once, until a crust forms on the skin of each side.

Make a roux, add the cream and jelly, strain in some of the lamb juices and heat gently. Season the sauce.

Gently heat the sugar in a frying pan until it begins to brown, add the butter. Stir and heat through for a minute or two. Add the potatoes, stir into the mixture, heat gently.

Serve the lamb sliced with the sauce and carmelised potatoes.