Olive-crusted Italian roast leg of lamb
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Olive-crusted Italian roast leg of lamb

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The gutsy topping on this roast lamb adds a delicious flavour and creates a stunning-looking roast, which can be prepared using a number of cuts, from the classic roast leg of lamb to butterfly or mini roasts. If time allows, marinate the meat overnight in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before roasting.
<b>Prep:</b> 15 mins Prep: 15 mins
<b>Cook:</b> 30 mins per 500g lamb Cook: 30 mins per 500g lamb
Serves 8-10 Serves 8-10
Good source of iron Good source of iron
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  • 1 x 2-2.5 kilogram Quality Mark leg of lamb
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 tablespoons basil pesto or paste
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic


  • 150 grams feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomato paste or pesto or chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped black olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • few leaves fresh basil or oregano, chopped


Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Line a baking or roasting tray with foil or baking paper. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Check the weight of the lamb in order to calculate the cooking time and place it on the tray.

Using a sharp knife, make 8-10 shallow cuts on top of the lamb leg. Mix together the wine, oil, basil, and garlic and message half of it over the lamb.

Roast the lamb in the preheated oven for 30 minutes per 500 grams, basting regularly with the remaining marinade during the first hour of cooking. In the last 30 minutes of cooking time, mix the topping ingredients together and press onto the lamb. Remove from the oven and rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Serve with pasta and seasonal vegetables.

This recipe is courtesy of Allyson Gofton's cookbook, Good Food Made Simple, photography by Alan Gillard

How to Carve a Leg of Lamb

  • Suitable Cuts
  • Nutrition
  • Tips & Tricks

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Serving size: 431g
Energy kJ (kcal) 2746 (656)
Protein (g) 65.3
Fat (g) 29.8
Saturated (g)
Carbohydrate (g) 26.8
Sugars (g)
Sodium (mg) 742
Iron (mg) 5.9
Zinc (mg) 9.7
Vitamin B12 (ug) 5.8
Vitamin D (ug) N/A
Selenium (ug) 30.3

This recipe is rich in selenium, a mineral that acts as an antioxidant to protect the body against damage. The lamb and pasta contribute the most selenium. 
  • If using a butterflied leg: spread marinade over both sides of the lamb. Roast at 190°C for 1¼ hours. Pile on topping and roast for a further 20 minutes.
  • For the thick flank / mini lamb roasts: make shallow cuts through the top fat layer of the roasts. Brush with marinade and press on topping Roast at 190°C for 35-40 minutes. Rest for 5-8 minutes before carving.

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