About Me

My photo
Emigrated from America to New Zealand and never looked back. Couldn't have asked for a better husband, family & life!


I know many people who have an aversion to lamb, and when asked why they aren't so keen on it, their answer is usually the same as mine used to be. It's the strong smell that permeates the place!

Well, in 1989 I had the good fortune to visit New Zealand with my family, and on a holiday farmstay in Havelock North we learned a wonderful recipe for roasting lamb without the very pungeant "lamb" smell.
(Thank you ever-so-much Mrs. MacKenzie!)

I have since added rosemary and red wine, but the outcome is still wonderful and I hope you enjoy it too!

1 Leg of Lamb (Approx 5 Lbs / 2 Kilos minimum)
2 Cups Strong Coffee (brewed or instant)
2 Cups Merlot (or other red wine of your choosing)
4 Cloves Sliced garlic (or 2 Tbsp crushed) more or less
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*Mustard Powder
2 Onions, chunky cut
2 Carrots, sliced
2 Large Potatoes, diced
4-6 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
* Indicates there is no precise measurement


First, combine coffee, wine, onions, and some of the garlic to make a marinade.

Rinse the meat and pat dry with paper towels, then use a knife to poke holes to insert garlic slivers into. If you prefer to use crushed garlic, a herb syringe can also be used to inject the full marinade into the meat.

Put the meat into a ziplock bag with the marinade and leave at room temperature for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 170-180 C (340-360 F)

Now, take the leg out and rub with oil before sprinkling with salt, pepper and mustard powder. Make sure to season all of the surface and be generous with the seasoning.

In a roasting pan, lay a rack at the bottom first to keep the meat off the bottom of the pan (if you don't have one, use 3 or 4 whole carrots and/or celery stalks instead). Lay the rosemary sprigs crossways on the rack to prevent them going through the bars.

Now gently put the leg directly on top of the sprigs and add the veggies around the meat and pour in your marinade liquid.

Place uncovered into the oven for 35-40 minutes, then baste the meat withe the liquid in the pan.

Now cover and continue cooking until the core of the leg meat reaches 77-80 C (180 F).

Generally, it cooks about 30 minutes per pound (per half kilo) so if it is a 5 Lb (approx 2 Kilo) leg, it will need about 2 and a half to 3 hours depending on how well done you like your meat. I like mine medium, but hubby likes it well done, so I try to compromise and he gets the shank meat which cooks faster than the other end.

I had so wanted to get a really lovely photo of ours, however it was already being carved by the time I had remembered to grab my camera. Oh well, c'est la vie!

It was lovely, and even my friend's two teenage sons enjoyed it, so I must have done something right, eh? The pan liquid is great for a rich gravy, and this dish is lovely with a fresh green salad and vinaigrette dressing as well.

Bon appetite!

2 Thoughts & Remarks:

Pam said...

My parents love lamb - I think I will make this recipe for them the next time they visit me. Great recipe.

Dan said...

I love the smell of roast lamb filling the house!

here are a couple of my favourite roast lamb recipes: