Slow roasted lamb with rosemary, lemon and anchovies

I have a penchant for slow roasted lamb and my seven hour lamb recipe is the most popular page on this whole blog. I know! I was sure those posts about depression, anxiety, giving birth and breast feeding would hit the high hit market and bring me the big bucks. Now I just feel cheap and used.


So, lamb. This was inspired by Chocolate and Zucchini’s slow roasted lamb shoulder. I have kept the quantities pretty vague as it depends on the size of your leg and it really is pretty flexible – add more rosemary if you like it, more garlic if it’s your thing, go without the garlic if you feel like it. I will say though, don’t, just don’t omit the anchovies. I know I know, lots of people ‘hate the anchovy’ but in this you certainly don’t taste anything remotely like it but it adds a complex saltiness that is incredibly moreish. So look, just relax and go with it. It is an absolute sensation.

Slow roasted lamb with rosemary, lemon and anchovies

  • 1-2 large sprigs of rosemary
  • rind from 1-2 lemons (peeled thinly using a vegetable peeler)
  • 10 anchovy fillets
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds (I’ve used wholegrain mustard before and it works a treat)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • A good splash of balsamic vinegar
  • An equally good splash of olive oil
  • 2-2.5kg leg of lamb or lamb shoulder
  • white wine
  • stock
  • 2 onions
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 stick celery
  1. Put everything except the lamb (obviously) in a mortar and pestle and pound the absolute crap out of it.
  2. No really, you want it all reduced to a paste so don’t use one of those pissy little useless ones.
  3. OK, use a blender if you must but you get a much nicer texture if you put a bit of elbow grease into it.
  4. Rub the paste all over the lamb and let it marinade for as long as you can
  5. Preheat the oven to 220C and bring the lamb to room temperature
  6. In a baking dish place the roughly cut up onions, carrots and celery and then put the lamb on top of it
  7. Pour a couple of glasses of wine and stock into the base of the baking dish
  8. Roast at 220C for 30 minutes
  9. Turn the meat and turn the temperature down to 120C (or a smidge higher if your oven isn’t fan-forced)
  10. Cook for 2.5hours, turning the meat every half hour or so
  11. If your baking dish starts to dry out then add some more stock (mine does this as it’s a hot fast oven and I always forget to turn it down low enough due to pathetic obsessive tendencies of thinking it won’t cook in time)
  12. If it’s browning too quickly cover with some foil
  13. Once it’s cooked remove from pan, cover and set aside.
  14. Tip everything in the pan into a sieve and using the back of a large spoon or ladle push all those beautiful juices through, discard the pulp, return to the stove and add a little more stock if it needs thinning out.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
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  • Paola

    I am not a lamb fan but somehow if you offered my this, I WOULD eat it.

  • blackbird

    marinade for as long as you can…

    so, like, a couple of hours? or overnight?

    Pour a couple of glasses of wine for yourself and THEN add some to the roasting pan…

  • Linda

    are your REALLY sure about the hairy fish because I always need to sleep with my tongue stuck in a glass of water whenever i go near those little buggers?

    bb's advice about 2 for the cook and 2 for the roasting pan sounds good.

    • I promise. They just dissolve into nothing, adding a depth of flavour. Because I’m with you about the tongue stuck in water.

  • nessy

    Agree.. anchovies with slow cooked lamb anyway (eg shanks)are a flavour combo made in heaven. But you’d never know they were there. And, I’ve put them in my 3 hour french beef casserole too.