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Recipe for :

Traditional New Zealand Roast Lamb Leg

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Purchase a de-boned leg from your local butcher. Ask him to French bone it - this is when it is de-boned but the shin end is left in and trimmed for presentation and makes it look spectacular.


  • Pre - heat oven to 220°C
  • 'Stab' lamb in 10 places and insert a whole peeled garlic clove into 5 of them and a sprig of rosemary into the other five
  • Insert an onion (cut into quarters) in the middle of leg.
  • Season with sea salt and freshly milled pepper and drizzle liberally with extra virgin olive oil. Tie up the leg neatly and securely
  • Place in roasting tray, resting on some lamb bones or bed of vegetables (peeled onions and carrots cut in half. This allows the meat to roast and not 'fry' on the bottom and the vegetables can be served later or used as a basis for the gravy.
  • Drizzle liberally with olive oil, season and rub in, (being a fatty meat, the natural fat will render down during the cooking process)
  • Place in oven and baste as required until cooked : a meat thermometer when used must show an internal temperature of 70°C (78°C for well done)
  • Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes per kg; this is called the resting time and allow the meat's structure to relax. It makes carving the meat easier and more tender to eat and meanwhile the jus cam be made

Jus or Jus Lie:

  • Pour of the fat from the roasting tray and place the tray on a moderate heat
  • When starting to sizzle, carefully add a small amount of stock, water or wine and stir. This will bring the sediment off the bottom to give the jus a great flavour
  • Once all the sediment has come off the bottom and the liquid has reduced down to virtually nothing add more stock and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes. Correct seasoning if required
  • This is called a jus and may be strained and served
  • A jus lie is a thickened gravy, which can be done by mixing flour, cornflour or arrowroot with water or cold stock to form a slurry. Gently whisk or stir it in until thickened as required

To serve:

  • Carve and serve with a combination of jus, jus lie, mint sauce or jelly, redcurrant jelly, onion or soubise sauce

Chef's Note:

When roasting lamb joints - best end, breast, leg, shoulder, saddle, etc - allow 45 minutes per kg cooking time (bone in) or 35 minutes per kg (boned joints)

Various herbs may also be added for additional flavour; mint (try different
ones such as sage mint, Vietnemese, etc), rosemary, coriander, parsley, basil, sage, etc. These may be chopped or bruised and used in three ways depending on the joint used:

  • sprinkled onto the outside
  • inserted into the flesh
  • onto the inside of flesh before rolling and trussing (for boned out joints)

Or try some whole cooked chestnuts on the inside, or pesto, sundried tomatoes, pitted olives, dried apricots, tinned peaches, etc.

Any traditional bread stuffings may also be cooked separately and served
with the roast.

Enjoy and bon appetit . . . . .

sufficient quantity (add to taste)
piece, meaning a whole one of