Sunday, February 23, 2014

Recipe: Slow-roasted Leg of Lamb with Garlic & Rosemary (Heston Blumenthal)

We were watching MasterChef Australia one evening, and Heston Blumenthal, one of my favorite British chef came on and showed the contestants how to cook a leg of lamb. On Hubby's birthday this year, he put in a request for Heston's lamb - we've cooked roast leg of lamb before, but Heston's cooking and carving method is slightly different, so I was excited to try it!

Slow-roasted leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary

Heston suggests using anchovy fillets,as it gives the lamb a unique savoriness but since this is not something we can get easily from regular supermarkets here, I forego it and settled for garlic and rosemary only, and followed the rest of the recipe. The garlic is blanched in milk first before placed in the leg of the lamb as it gives the garlic a mild, sweet and nutty flavour; if using raw garlic, the taste will be more pungent. If you feel that pouring away 400ml milk just for blanching the garlic is wasteful, then by all means skip this step and just use raw garlic. Personally I feel it won't affect the taste of the lamb much.

The leg of lamb is slow roasted at 90°C until the internal temperature reaches 57°C, this took us slightly over 2 hours for a-2kg lamb. Rest it for 30 minutes in a warm place, before carving.

Now here comes the most important part - carving the meat. This is the key to achieving the extra tender, juicy mouthfeel. The meat has to be cut from the top, downwards until the knife meets the bone, then the knife is run horizontally across the meat, just above the bone. This way you get chunks of meat, rather than slivers. I never would have thought this would make the world of difference, but it does!

This is by far the best of roast leg of lamb I have ever tasted. Beautifully pink meat throughout and slicing it the Heston way makes it taste extra tender and delicious! We served the tender lamb with homemade mint sauce, cheesy mash pots, grilled zucchini, and quinoa salad. Birthday boy was absolutely delighted with the meal.

Slow-cooked roasted leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary 
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from Heston Blumenthal
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hrs 30 minutes
Serves 6-8

2.0kg lamb leg, on the bone
3 tbsp canola oil
400g skim milk
6 garlic cloves, halved
4 rosemary sprigs
Salt, to taste

To serve
Homemade fresh mint sauce

1. Preheat oven to 90°C (roast mode).

2. Heat oil in a flameproof roasting pan over high heat until smoking. Season lamb with salt, then sear until completely golden brown. Place a roasting rack underneath the lamb set inside the pan.

3. Meanwhile, bring 100g milk to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and allow to simmer for 1 minute. Drain through a fine sieve, retaining the garlic, and discarding the milk. Repeat process 3 times using the remaining milk.

4. Cut blanched garlic into slivers. Using a sharp knife, cut small slits in the surface of the lamb at regular intervals. If necessary, use a small spoon to enlarge holes. Fill holes with an anchovy slice, a garlic sliver and a few rosemary leaves.

5. Place lamb in oven for 2 - 2 1/4 hours or until internal temperature reaches 57°C.

6. Remove lamb from oven, wrap in foil, and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, place roasting pan over medium heat. Add a splash of white wine to deglaze, whisk in mustard and stock, then reduce to a saucy consistency. Pour into a warm jug.

8. To serve, remove foil, and place lamb on a chopping board. Cut meat from the top, downwards, until the knife meets bone, to desired thickness, all the way along the top of the leg. Run the knife horizontally across the meat, just above the bone, separating the slices. Turn over and repeat on other side.

9. Arrange lamb on a platter and serve with side dishes of your choice. We served with homemade mint sauce, cheesy mash pots, grilled zucchini, and quinoa salad (recipe here).

Check out the recipe here for slow roasted leg of lamb with anchovies, garlic and rosemary.

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*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's Facebook page on 17 December 2014.


  1. Looks delicious! Lucky hubby!
    Happy Belated Birthday to your hubby!

  2. Oh yes, i was thinking that the dish should work well with mint sauce and you really did make some! haha awesome! :D

  3. Salivating while reading. I wonder if there is video of Heston Blumenthal's carving the roast?

    1. Hi Lian, I found this short video of Heston carving the roast:

      You're probably already carving it correctly already :)

  4. I really dream of taking a bite ! Lol

  5. omigosh, save a slice for meeeeeee! heheh, this looks like a total treat for true carnivores! :D

  6. I love this method for steak and chicken so I think I'd love this too! :D

  7. That looks good...but only 3 in the house - maybe I can just stick to a rack or something smaller.

  8. Your lamb looks so tasty and juicy!

  9. Yumz. . Very juicy and tender looking too. Use local or imported lamb?

    1. Hi, I can't rmbr exactly but it's either NZ or Australian lamb.

  10. Yen, this is so meaty and delicious! But I am too stingy to buy leg of lamb hah...hah...I love anchovy fillets and usually use them in salad dressings. If you are interested, they are available at Tesco and Cold Storage. I have also seen them at Aeon.

    1. Thanks Phong Hong! Maybe I didn't look hard enough or looking at the wrong section. Next time I make this again, will go look for the anchovies first.

  11. What a perfect roast! May I come for dinner the next time I'm in KL? :)

  12. I don't eat lamb much but this roasted leg of lamb looks spectacular!

  13. After seeing your juicy and delicious roasted leg of lamb I started believing that we can do it at home too.


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