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Wet Roasted Lamb Leg with Lemon and Herbs


Roast leg of lamb was once considered the quintessential Australian meal. It’s an old favourite in my family, though usually I buy the leg deboned and butterflied by my wonderful butcher. I then roast it flat, very quickly in my charcoal fired kettle barbeque.

We’re almost at the end of the salt bush hogget that I bought in Burra on the homeward journey of our recent big trip, but I still had one leg to cook. I recently came across a recipe for a leg of lamb pot roasted in the oven. In a trial run, the flavour was disappointing, but the method was successful enough to warrant a rework of the ingredients.

I’ve stuck to the original concept of flavours from the Eastern Mediterranean. Almost completely covering the lamb with stock at the beginning means that in the initial stages of the slow roast, the meat braises, but as the juices evaporate the flavour of the sauce intensifies and the outside of the lamb develops a luscious crust.

I made a simple lemon and herb pilau, and served the unctious meat on top with the mint infused roasting juices reduced to a sauce. A simple crisp green salad was all that was needed to balance the rich moist meat.

1 leg of lamb, shank removed
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup wine red or white
1 tablespoon Greek oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
a large sprig of fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoones ground sumac
1 lemon, sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and squashed
2 cups lamb stock
1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint

Season the leg of lamb generously with sea salt and pepper.
Heat a large, deep, cast iron casserole dish add the oil the brown the leg of lamb on all sides. Remove the leg, then deglaze the pan with the wine.
Add the herbs and spices, the lemon and garlic, the tomato concentrate.
Bring to the liquid to the boil, then return the lamb to the pot.
Add enough hot stock to almost cover the joint. Return the stock to the boil then transfer to the oven and slow roast for 3 hours. By this time The meat should be falling off the bone.
Remove the leg of lamb from the casserole dish, strain the juices into a small saucepan and skim off any fat.
Reduce the liquid over a high heat to saucing consistency, adjust the seasoning with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and honey or brown sugar. Stir in the chopped mint. Serve the sauce alongside the lamb.
Serves 6 generously.



About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

14 comments on “Wet Roasted Lamb Leg with Lemon and Herbs

  1. ohlidia
    February 21, 2014

    Oh, just gorgeous Sandra! I just might try this come Easter.


    • ladyredspecs
      February 21, 2014

      Lamb cooked every which way is an everyday dish here, but this is a fabulous method for a whole leg and would make a great party piece!


  2. The Editors of Garden Variety
    January 8, 2014

    Your lamb dish looks amazing. Outstanding job!


  3. saucygander
    January 8, 2014

    Just the thing leading up to Australia Day! Never had salt bush lamb, but have heard all about it, definitely on the list of food to try this year. This looks wonderful.


    • ladyredspecs
      January 8, 2014

      Salt bush lamb is super tasty, though in fact it was a hogget leg (a bit older, a bit stronger flavoured) that I used. This was a fabulous method. Going to do something similar with pork next!


  4. Karen
    January 8, 2014

    I’ve never cooked a leg of lamb that starts out with a braise…I’m like you, I usually cook a butterflied boneless leg. I will have to give this a try.


    • ladyredspecs
      January 8, 2014

      It was a great method, required little attention and the flavour was fabulous.


      • Karen
        January 8, 2014

        This is definitely a new way for me to cook leg of lamb and I can’t wait to try it.


      • ladyredspecs
        January 8, 2014

        Karen, I’d love feedback if you do try cooking this recipe!


  5. chef mimi
    January 8, 2014

    Lamb is the best, and this recipe looks incredible. I love the ingredients! So, is wet roast the same ad braise?


    • ladyredspecs
      January 8, 2014

      It’s like pot roast/braise hybrid, more liquid though and slower cooking best suited to a whole joint. It was great, moist, juicy and tender


  6. This looks fabulous. I’m very new to lamb, never having tried it while I was growing up. My mom always insisted it tasted like human, therefore she would never try it. When I was growing up, I truly believed her. Haha!! Yes, I know it begs the question… “How do you know that, mom?” 🙂 She still refuses to try it.
    I can officially say I love lamb.
    Just lovely. Look at how gorgeous it is braising.. pure comfort. I can only imagine how the house smelled while it was roasting.


    • ladyredspecs
      January 7, 2014

      I never tire of the aroma of roasting lamb coming from the kitchen. It’s very, very popular in Australia, ethically raised, grass fed, free range, sweet, tender and juicy, glad you are a convert! This is a delicious way of cooking a whole leg, great served hot, or pulled from the bone for sandwiches.


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This entry was posted on January 7, 2014 by in FODMAP diet, Food, Gluten Free, Lamb, Main Meals and tagged , , , , , , .
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