Lamb is a perfect for an Easter Sunday roast, and you can ramp up the flavour by infusing it with garlic and herbs, like I have in this recipe from New Zealand Lamb. The addition of dried apricots, walnuts and almonds into the pan, with carrots and fennel (although I switched the fennel for onions in my dish) make it a fab one-pan dish.
You start by make a marinade with olive oil, sliced garlic, fresh rosemary and thyme…this then gets pushed into slits that you cut into the leg of lamb, and any remaining marinade is rubbed over the meat. It then goes into the oven on its own before the additional ingredients -dried fruit, nuts and vegetables are added. The juices that come out of the lamb, make a delicious gravy, and the nuts give a delightful crunch to the dish. We served ours with steamed asparagus, grilled aubergine, and of course, roasted potatoes!
The herb roasted leg of lamb smelled and tasted delicious – we cooked ours for longer than the recipe stated, as we like our lamb to be more well done. I was worried that the longer cooking time would make the meat dry out, but it was a worry for nothing, as the meat was very juicy. We also added more water during the cooking to stop the nuts from burning, and it helped to produce the gravy too.
- 1 x 2 – 2.5kg leg of New Zealand Lamb (can be chilled or thawed from frozen)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- the leaves from 15cm stalk of rosemary, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 heads of fennel, cut into 6 wedges each
- 2 bunches baby carrots, skins scrubbed
- 10 dried apricots, halved
- 100g whole almonds
- 60g walnut pieces
- Preheat oven 180˚C / Gas 4
- Place the lamb in a roasting dish and poke a thin small knife into the flesh in 12 places.
- Mix the garlic, rosemary, thyme and olive oil with a little salt and pepper and poke this into all of the holes and rub the remainder over the leg.
- Place in the centre of the oven and roast for 45 minutes. After 20 minutes, add 100ml water to prevent the garlic from burning.
- Tip the fennel and carrots onto the lamb and turn the leg over then roast for 30 minutes.
- Take the lamb from the dish, add the apricots, walnuts and almonds, then replace the lamb, again turned over, and put back in the oven.
- It will be cooked medium (which is lovely for leg of lamb) in another 15 – 25 minutes depending on the size.
- Remove the lamb from the roasting dish and sit on a plate loosely covered with foil and a tea towel, and rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes.
- Turn the oven off, put the roasting dish back in, and keep warm