Lamb Abruzzi

3:10 pm on 3 June 2011

This lamb roast is the best I've ever cooked: succulent, tender and with a tasty crunchy parmesan coat. If a carvery leg of lamb is not available, use a 1.5-2kg leg of lamb, but cook it for an extra 15 minutes before pouring over the vinegar.

Ready In: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

(Serves 6)


  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped streaky bacon
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for grinding over lamb
  • 1 carvery leg of lamb
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 125ml (½ cup) balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp soft white breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp soft butter


Mix the bacon, garlic, rosemary, parsley and a black pepper in a small bowl. Make a dozen or so deep incisions in the meaty parts of the lamb and force the stuffing into these slits, using the end of a teaspoon.

Put the olive oil in a roasting tin and place in an oven preheated to 190°C. When the oil is hot, add the lamb, coating it in the hot oil to seal. Grind over a little black pepper and roast the meat for 45 minutes, basting occasionally. Pour over the balsamic vinegar, sprinkle over the salt and return lamb to the oven for a further 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and butter. Remove lamb from oven, baste it well, then spread crumb coating over the top of the lamb and return it to the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and let the lamb rest at room temperature, covered loosely with aluminium foil, for 15 minutes before slicing. (This produces a moist, pink roast, but if you prefer the lamb a little more cooked, allow an extra 10-15 minutes in the initial cooking stage.)

Transfer the lamb to a chopping board. Tilt the roasting tin, scoop off and discard the fat, then bubble up the juices over a medium heat for a minute or two. Slice the lamb thinly, arrange it on a serving plate, pour over the pan juices and serve immediately.

I'd serve this with roast potatoes or kumara, maybe broccoli or broccolini, and a creamy parsnip puree - you just whiz cooked parsnips in the food processor with a little cream, salt and freshly grated nutmeg - would be divine

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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