Rosemary, Anchovy and Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb

Roast Lamb is one of those dishes that is never out of fashion. While it is an easy dish, I have seen many so called professionals try to prepare a roast with inferior cuts of lamb with "tasteless" results (but more money in their pocket in the short term).

To prepare a really good roast you need a good quality leg of lamb. By the last month of spring and throughout the Summer good British lamb is excellent, for the tastiest meat purchase free range or organic. Anchovies may seem an unusual addition but in fact they add a very mild saltiness to the lamb which compliments it wonderfully.

6 - 8 Portions
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 2 hours



  • 1 leg of lamb 2-2.5kg, trimmed
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • generous handful of rosemary sprigs
  • 8-12 anhcovies (jarred)
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml semi sweet white wine

To Serve

  • baby roast vegetables (see recipe)
  • your choice of green vegetables or/and green salad


  1. Lamb: Preheat an oven to 200°C. Stab the lamb all over with a small sharp knife. Insert slices of garlic, 1/2 slithers of anchovies and small sprigs of rosemary into the cuts. Rub the lemon juice into the lamb, season well with salt and pepper and massage the oil in.
  2. To Roast: Place the leg of lamb on a roasting tray, pour a little water on the base of the pan and put on the centre shelf of the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Pour over 100ml white wine and baste the lamb. Reduce the heat to 180°C and leave the lamb to cook 1 1/2-2 hours (dependent on its weight and how well you like it cooked), Baste the lamb regularly adding a little water if the pan becomes to dry.
  3. When cooked remove the lamb from oven and tray, leave it to rest in a warm spot while you prepare the gravy. Remove as much of the fat from the pan as you can, place the tray over a moderate heat, mix in the corn flour and water, stirring with a wooden spoon. Gradually stir in the remaining wine and simmer until it becomes a sauce consistency (coats the back of a wooden spoon). Keep hot until ready to serve. Pour into a sauce boat when ready to serve.
  4. To Serve: Serve slices of lamb accompanied with roast vegetables and green vegetables and/or a green salad. Accompany with gravy and mint sauce.