Four Hour Olive and Lemon Scented Leg of Lamb

I really like Matthew Evans. He had the unenviable task of taking up the mantle of restaurant reviewer for the SMH’s Good Living following Terry Durack and well, one of the few reviewers I love more than Matthew would be Terry. I still make Terry’s White Cut Chicken recipe w/ dipping sauce from his book Yum years after I first tried it and every mag has run a recipe for it a hundred times since. See, I’m extending my sentences to a point it’s unbearable even for me.

Anyway, Matthew has a column in the SMH’s Good Weekend magazine each Saturday and well, it is always so much more accessible and indeed tantalising than the fancy double paged food spread that lies before it.

This is one of his recipes from that publication. I think it ran last year but it could even have been from a year before that. Anyway, it is sensational and a great dinner for winter on those days you’ve got kids at various activities after school and need dinner the minute you walk in the door. He also suggests you can smear the lambe with the olive and garlic paste and roast for an hour instead, but I like the idea of getting it on mid afternoon and it looking after itself for a couple of hours.

Four Hour Olive and Lemon Scented Leg of Lamb
Matthew Evans, Any fool can cook column, Good Weekend, The Sydney Morning Herald

  • 1 medium sized leg of lamb
  • about 10 fleshy black olives, pitted
  • about 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3-4 slices of lemon
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  1. Take the lamb out of the fridge about half an hour before it needs to go into the oven
  2. Preheat oven to 150C
  3. Blend or pound the olives with the garlic until a coarse paste is formed
  4. Smear the paste all over the lamb, particularly the fleshy bit that will face upwards
  5. Place in a large sealable pot (or a tray and foil) and lay the lemon slices and bay leaves on the lamb
  6. Put the onion, red wine and water in the base and season – go easy on the salt due to the olives
  7. Put the lid on, pop in the oven, turning it down to 110C and cook for 3 to 4 hours
  8. Check it every now and then to ensure the pot hasn’t dried out (it shouldn’t but if it does add a little more water)
  9. Serve with baked potatoes and veggies.

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  • Alex

    Hi Kim
    Delurking with a off-topic query re Anzac biscuits. I used your Anzac recipe this morning (having made it very successfully previously) and the mixture spread all over the baking tin into one BIG flat biscuit … great for a rainy day with a cup of tea in that I could say "but I only ate one biscuit" but not ideal really. My golden syrup was a bit candied – could this be the culprit for the spread?!?! Just wanting to pick your foodie brain. Thanks, Alex

  • kim at allconsuming

    Hmmm that is weird (I'm so pleased the recipe has worked fine in the past).

    Any chance you missed something? Used the wrong sort of flour or something? I'm afraid I'm not much use to you at all.

    I made a batch of biscuits the other day then realised I'd left the egg out, so I added it but quickly realised already having a tray of them in the oven meant it was now too wet. Gah. They were, I might say, still all eaten.

  • Suzie

    I agree with you completely about Matthew Evans – I have both his cookbooks and they are always good, yummy, untricked up recipes.
    Re Anzacs, maybe the oven was too hot?

  • Alex

    Thanks Suzie – the oven might have been too hot now that you mention it. Perhaps the best option would be to make another batch and see! Despite them being flat and chewy, they were, like your biscuits Kim, still all eaten. I can never quite bring myself to bin homemade biscuits.