James Martin Recipes: Rosemary and Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb

Roast Leg of Lamb in James Martin dishIf there is one thing we love about autumn, it is the roast dinners. This James Martin dish certainly ticks all the boxes for a good, hearty autumn dish.

The tender lamb is perfectly complemented by the array of flavours produced by a bed of roast potatoes and vegetables.


1 leg of lamb, bone in, approx 2kg/4 1/2 lb
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled
Rosemary, freshly picked
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
For the roast potatoes
1 – 1 1/2kg / 2-3lb roasting potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
For the coriander pesto
Large bunch of fresh coriander
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1-2 anchovies, in oil
½oz pine nuts, toasted
½oz parmesan cheese, grated
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


To ensure that the lamb is lovely and tender, using a sharp knife, prick the lamb about 20 times going about 2cm/1 inch deep each time. Do this whilst the oven is preheating at 200oC/400oF/Gas mark 6.

To give the lamb its full flavor, cut the garlic cloves into thin strips and fill each hole, adding some rosemary too. Cover the lamb in oil and black pepper and place on a rack in a large roasting dish for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Make sure you baste regularly.

Whilst the leg of lamb is cooking, parboil the potatoes, drain them before returning to the pan to crisp the edges. After about 15-20 minutes of the lamb being in the oven, add the potatoes to the roasting dish allowing them to fall underneath the rack which will cook them in the fat. Delicious!

These can be left for the duration of the time the lamb is in, although make sure you check regularly and turn when necessary. This allows you to make your pesto. It couldn’t be easier. Add all the ingredients, except the oil and black pepper, into a blender and mix, adding the oil and seasoning until you are happy with the consistency.

When all is done it is ready to serve and you have a delicious rustic meal to keep you warm in the autumn.

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