Lamb with herb and garlic rub

herbs for roast lamb

Roast dinner, 160pp.
Reader’s Digest kitchens
Reader’s Digest (Australia), Ultimo NSW, 2007
Cooking on page 32–33

Oh my, I can’t count how many roast dinners I’ve made over the years.

Poor John’s Aunt Esther lived with us for eight years (before she went into demented aged care at age 97). She loved a roast and I obliged regularly.

This cookbook is part of a Reader’s Digest series that covers various cooking styles, cuisines and core ingredients. Chapters in this book cover meat, poultry, fish, vegetables and desserts, as well as sauces, stuffings and accompaniments.

Aunt Esther would have loved the recipe on page 32.

Lamb with herbs and garlic

Lamb with herb and garlic rub

2 kg (4 lb) leg of lamb
1 lemon, halved and seeded

Herb and garlic rub
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sea salt flakes
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup (60 ml/2 fl oz) olive oil

Herbs for roast lamb Herb and garlic mixture Lamb ready to roast

To make the rub, mix the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour in the oil and mix until well combined.

Using a sharp knife, make several small slits all over the lamb. Rub the herb mixture all over the meat, pushing it into the slits, then leave the lamb for 1 hour at room temperature to marinate.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Place the lamb in a roasting pan, fat side up, and cook for about 2 hours (30 minutes per 500 g/1 lb). Cover with foil after 1 hour.

Transfer the lamb to a carving board. Squeeze the lemon juice over lamb then allow to rest for about 10–15 minutes before slicing. Serve with roasted vegetables and steamed beans.

Cook’s tip
It is important to rest a joint of meat for at least 10 minutes before carving and serving. When rested, the internal and external temperatures even out and the juices are redistributed, making the meat more succulent and easier to carve.

How it played out
I’ve made this twice in just a couple of weeks—once in Canberra and then again on Flinders Island, using their wonderful locally produced lamb. In both places, I was lucky enough to be able to use homegrown herbs and Australian olive oil.

I followed the recipe exactly, using all the garlic and all the herbs finely chopped. Resting the joint is an important step, so be sure to follow the cook’s tip noted above. I made gravy while I waited.

Roasted lamb

The first time I made it, I served it to fellow travelling companions, Martin and Gwynne from the USA. They love lamb but sometimes find it hard to find in America.

An absolutely brilliant recipe for roast lamb. We must have loved it or I wouldn’t have made it twice so close together.

For those who can’t get or who don’t care for lamb, I’m sure you could successfully make the same recipe with a beef roast.

P.S. I’ve taken several pics of the cover of this cookbook and now can’t find any of them. Will try to add one later.

We loved Flinders Island. Here’s a post that covers our walk there on Earth Day.

Mining scoop

We travelled with Martin and Gwynne for almost a year in Africa. Here they are in a giant mining scoop in the National Museum of Australia



About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
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13 Responses to Lamb with herb and garlic rub

  1. Phyllis Gaetz says:

    Mm looks good. BBQ’d lamb chops are our regular go to at the cottage. Have to have my Crosse and Blackwell mint sauce too. Do you have a recipe for mint sauce as well?

  2. Oh Peggy, this looks perfect. I can eat this on my food program and I’ll be anxious to try it. I don’t think I’ve ever had lamb before. Is it an acquired taste?

    • leggypeggy says:

      That’s a really good question. Some people would say lamb is an acquired taste, but I grew up with it so just think of it as lamb. In my opinion, it has more flavour than almost all beef cuts, and it’s usually way more tender. Maybe before you cook a whole roast, you can try a chop to see if you like it. I think lamb can be quite expensive at a butcher’s, but sometimes stores like Sam’s or Costco carry it in the US. Please let met me know if you make it, and if you like it.

  3. I know this is delicious because I make a nearly identical recipe for roast lamb at Passover. The only addition is several tablespoons of dried mustard which adds a bit of snap and depth. So good, and the juices are delish added over the lamb slices. Serve with red and white potatoes roasted along with the lamb for the last hour. (OMG, did I just write about cooking something as if I know how to cook? Yikes!)

  4. There is just nothing like a good lamb roast. We used to cook one for Christmas dinner, called Raan. Lots of garlic, turmeric, garam masala and a marinade of lemon juice and yoghurt.
    Our grandson climbed on the table and dipped bread in the sauce afterwards.

  5. blondieaka says:

    Oh for a lamb is a real rarity here …I can taste it..with new potatoes and mint sauce…I am drooling here 🙂

  6. This can only be fantastic ! What a great rub for lamb ! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Cook groups—feeding a crowd on a truck in Africa | Where to next?

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