Roast Leg of Lamb – My New Favourite

This is fast becoming my favourite roast. Pork is delicious but I don’t react well to it. Roast beef has been knocked down a few notches. I loved it as a child, but it’s too expensive, and the results are never worth the expense. Chicken may just be holding on to the top spot. Which brings me to lamb. Why has it gone up the league tables so to speak?

Roast leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic recipe - BBC Food

I think the big reason is that I’m buying local West Country lamb now. I buy a lot of my meat locally. The lambs that end up on my plate are in the fields surrounding my house. This means that the lamb is incredibly fresh. As a result, the taste of the lamb is complex and flavourful. It’s almost sweet.

So what was the problem before? I think I was eating lesser lamb. Sorry Kiwis, but your exported lamb is not great. That’s right. Much of the lamb that the Western world eats comes from New Zealand. Now I have no doubt that if I lived in Wellington and bought local Kiwi lamb, it would taste great. After all, one of their sheep visited parliament and met the Prime Minister! New Zealanders are rightfully proud of their sheep industry.

Shrek, The Sheep Who Escaped Shearing For 6 Years
Shrek – Rest in Peace

The problem is that what we get in the UK, Canada the States is not what we would get if we lived on the South Island. What we get is frozen lamb or near frozen lamb that has travelled thousands of miles to get to our grocery shelves. The truth is that it gets a bit smelly along the way. So the “fresh” New Zealand lamb I could buy is a poor cousin of the lamb I buy from my butcher. There is a huge difference in flavour. There’s also a huge difference when you cut open the plastic covering of the Kiwi lamb: stinky.

Wherever you live I suggest giving lamb a try as long as it’s local.


Roasting is very easy. Lamb has so much fat content that it is a very forgiving meat. There’s no basting needed. The only prep I do is make some holes with a knife and stuff them with slivers of garlic and bits of rosemary. I sprinkle with salt and pepper as well.

  • Set the oven at 225 centigrade.
  • Sizzle the roast for twenty minutes, then turn the oven down to 175.
  • Roast to your liking. I like mine medium, so I roast for 22 minutes per pound. I go for a 64 centigrade reading with the meat thermometer.
  • Serve with salsa verde that is heavy on mint.

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