Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Garlic-roasted slow-cooked leg of lamb

Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Garlic-roasted slow-cooked leg of lamb
Leg of lamb slow-roasted with garlic. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Roasted garlic and olive brine lend palate-pleasing depth of flavour to this recipe for slow-roasted leg of lamb.


8 to 10 fat cloves of garlic

An additional head of garlic per every two people

100 g olive brine (plus more, optional)

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

60 ml extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

1 leg of lamb, bone in (the size doesn’t matter, choose according to how many you’re feeding)


Turn the oven on to 240℃ when you put the kettle on after waking up. After you’ve had your morning coffee, put the garlic cloves, in their husks, in an oven tray and put them in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Don’t use tiddlers, the garlic will turn bitter and hard.

Let the garlic cloves cool, then squeeze the pulp out into a bowl. To this, add the brine of a 200 g sachet of black or green olives. The brine content will be about 100 g (half). Keep the olives for a pre-dinner snack or for later use. Stir in the olive oil and the juice and finely grated zest of a large lemon. Season with salt and pepper.

Use a sharp knife to make 12 to 16 or so incisions about halfway into the leg in the fleshiest parts.

Douse the leg in the marinade, massaging it in. Salt the leg well all over. Grind plenty of pepper over. 

Roast at 200℃ for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160℃ and roast for six or seven hours. Two hours before it’s done, slice the top third off the whole garlic bulbs, season the cut side with salt and pepper, and add to the roasting pan to cook with the meat. (Use the garlic you have cut off for a side dish.) When done, turn off the oven and allow the leg to rest. Serve a half garlic bulb with each portion. (Of course you can do a whole bulb per guest if you like.) Serve with the pan juices, after skimming off excess fat. If you prefer more sauce, add 100 g more olive brine to the skimmed pan juices and simmer for two or three minutes. DM/TGIFood

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