This recipe for stuffed lamb with oranges, olives and pine nuts is bursting with all the sunshine flavours of the Mediterranean. The secret ingredient? A glug of concentrated orange cordial.
Fat is what makes particular stuffed lamb taste so delicious, so don’t be too over zealous about trimming it. Just get rid of any very fatty or tough sinuous strands.
It also looks better if you neaten up any fat or sinews around the joint bones using a sharp knife. Just carefully scrape it away until you reach the bone, a bit like stripping paint with a metal wall scraper.
Before cooking your leg of lamb it’s important to bring it to room temperature so that the meat is nice and relaxed (especially if you’ve been marinading the meat over-night). This is another important part of the prep that shouldn’t be rushed.
For perfect carving: always allow your meat to rest before carving. Don’t cut it from straight out the oven. Place the lamb on it’s side with the shank bone facing away from you. Cut a couple of lengthways slices from the section of meat facing you, creating a flat base to allow the meat to sit flat on a chopping board.
Turn the roast upright now so that it sits on the cut area. Hold the meat steady in one hand using a meat fork inserted into the meat opposite the shank bone, then cut with the other.
Cut against the grain of the meat (against the direction the tendons and sinews of the meat naturally lie).
We ordered our lamb online from sustainable butcher The Ginger Pig, as a special treat.
This recipe for stuffed lamb is a unique, alternative idea to a classic Sunday lunch dish.
- 2.5kg leg of lamb, bone in, at room temperature
- 6 garlic cloves, skin-on, bashed
- 5 bay leaves
- 5 fresh thyme sprigs, leavespicked off
- 5 fresh rosemary sprigs, plus 5 for decorating
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 50g breadcrumbs
- Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
- Around 40ml olive oil, plusextra for drizzling
- 50g pine nuts, toasted
- 110g jar stoned black olives, drained
- 2 oranges, pared and sliced into 2cm-thick rounds
- 300ml dry white wine
- 50ml full-sugar orange cordial (we like Belvoir)
- 1tbsp plain flour
- 350ml chicken or veg stock
- 30g butter
Heat the oven to 200C/ Gas 6 and make sure the meat has come to room temperature for at least 1 hr.
Take a sharp knife and follow the leg bone from ankle to thigh to create a pocket. This does not have to be neat. Season the lamb all over with salt and pepper, and make slits in the fatty skin. Stuff half the garlic into these slits.
In a food processor, whizz the rest of the garlic and herbs together, then add the anchovies, breadcrumbs and lemon juice. Slowly add the oil, until the mix resembles the texture of loose pesto.
Fill the cavity of the lamb with the stuffing, pine nuts and olives, thentie up with string to hold it together. Put the lamb in a roasting tin, then tuck rosemary sprigs and orange slices under the string and drizzle with oil.
Roast for 11⁄2 hrs at the higher temperature, adding the wine after 30 mins and basting every 20 mins. One hour into cooking, start basting with the orange cordial too – just pour directly onto the hot lamb.
For the final 10 mins, turn the temperature down to 110C/Gas 1⁄4. Transfer the lamb to a large plate or shallow bowl, cover with foil and allow to rest for 20 mins.
Meanwhile, make the gravy. Strain the juices from the roasting tin into a pan, add the our, then cook, stirring with a whisk over alow heat for a few mins. Then stir in the stock and any resting juices from the lamb. Turn off the heat, stir in the butter and serve.
Top Tip for making Stuffed lamb with oranges, olives and pine nuts
Mediterranean lamb is best served slightly pink