• Resting the leg of lamb after cooking, and then carving, is the real art. The correct preparation by the butcher makes carving a breeze. Do not cut the shank (leg) bone – you use that as a ‘handle’ when carving. Ask him to fillet out the pelvic bone because it will cause obstruction during carving. Anchovy is wonderful to boost the flavour of the lamb, because it disappears after cooking, without leaving a trace of fishy flavour. 

    Roast leg of lamb with anchovy

    Serves: 4 to 5
    Cooking Time: 3 hrs 30 mins


    • 1 x 2kg leg of lamb (do not cut through the shank bone)
    • 4 garlic cloves, cut into slivers
    • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, snipped into 2cm lengths
    • rosemary and olive seasoning
    • 1 x 50g tin flat anchovy fillets in oil
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
    • brown gravy powder
    • a dash of sherry or lemon juice



    Use a sharp pointed knife to cut slits into the lamb and stuff these with the garlic and rosemary.


    Season the meat with the rosemary and olive seasoning.


    Mash the anchovies with the anchovy and olive oils to form a rough paste.


    Rub the paste into the lamb and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.


    Bring the meat to room temperature before roasting.


    Preheat the oven to 200°C.


    Place the lamb on a rack over a roasting pan. Add 2 to 3 cups of boiling water to the pan and roast the meat for 30 minutes.


    Reduce the heat to 160°C and roast for about an hour or until cooked to your preference. This is best done according to the reading on a meat thermometer. Medium will read at 71°C.


    Remove the lamb from the oven and cover with foil.


    Before carving, allow the meat to rest for 10 – 15 minutes to allow the juices to withdraw into the meat.


    Strain the pan juices and remove the excess fat. Thicken with the brown gravy powder.


    Taste for seasoning and add a dash of sherry or lemon juice.


    Carve with a very sharp knife on a wooden board.


    Serve with roast potatoes.