Ultimate Leg of Lamb
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Ultimate Leg of Lamb

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A roast leg of lamb has long been hailed as the ultimate Kiwi favourite, and this recipe requires zero fuss as the oven does the hard work. Infused with flavours of garlic and thyme and topped with a creamy meat sauce, you won't be disappointed. We served the lamb on a thick bed of thyme for that perfect festive touch.
<b>Prep:</b> 10 mins Prep: 10 mins
<b>Cook:</b> 2 hours 45 mins Cook: 2 hours 45 mins
Serves 8 Serves 8
Source of iron Source of iron
Low Sodium Low Sodium
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  • 2-2.5kg Quality Mark leg of lamb, at room temperature
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon roughly chopped thyme leaves
  • 1-2 handfuls thyme sprigs
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Meat sauce

  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 3/4 cup crème fraiche or traditional sour cream
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf

To serve

  • Cooked new potatoes with green yoghurt sauce (see tips)
  • Steamed carrots and snow peas or green beans


Preheat the oven to 160°C.


Use a sharp knife to make shallow slits in the lamb flesh (4-5). Mix together the butter, garlic and chopped thyme. Push butter mixture into the slits and sprinkle lamb with flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the thyme sprigs and sliced onion in the base of a roasting tin and sit lamb on top. Drizzle over the olive oil. Place in the oven and roast for 2 3/4 hours.

Meat sauce

Remove the lamb from the oven half an hour before the end of cooking time. Place lamb on a board, then tip all the juices into a saucepan. Replace lamb back into the roasting tin and return to the oven to finish roasting.

Remove from the oven and leave to rest, covered loosely with foil and a tea towel for at least 10 minutes before carving.

Skim the fat off the roasting juices in the saucepan. Add the beef stock to the remaining juices and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat and add the crème fraiche or sour cream, lemon zest, vinegar and bay leaf. Simmer until the sauce reduces a little ( it will be a thin sauce). Season with salt to counteract acidity. Strain sauce into a jug or gravy boat and serve hot with the lamb and vegetables.
  • Suitable Cuts
  • Nutrition
  • Tips & Tricks

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Serving size: 509g
Energy kJ (kcal) 2493 (595)
Protein (g) 36.7
Fat (g) 35.3
Saturated (g) 13.7
Carbohydrate (g) 30.4
Sugars (g) 8.7
Sodium (mg) 285
Iron (mg) 3.6
Zinc (mg) 5.7
Vitamin B12 (ug) 2.9
Vitamin D (ug) NA
Selenium (ug) 7.0

  • Carve lamb with a sharp carving knife, carving across the grain of the meat for tender slices of lamb. To begin carving, cut a large wedge from the meat at the knuckle end. Slice thin slices down towards the bone. Run knife under lamb slices to release.
  • Green yoghurt sauce – in a food processor, place 1 well packed cup picked watercress and flat leaf parsley. Add 1 sliced spring onion and process to roughly chop. Add 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened yoghurt and process until smooth. Season with a good squeeze of lime or lemon juice and salt.

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