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.