This Time of Year…All Roads Lead Home

Roast Leg of Lamb with Anchovies, Garlic and Rosemary


  • 1 x 4lb bone-in leg of lamb
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 20 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ⅔ cups white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt, as needed

For the salsa verde

  • ½ a bunch of flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ a bunch of basil
  • 2tbsp capers
  • ½ a 50g (1¾oz) tin of anchovies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • 6tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Delicious served with lemony boiled or roast potatoes or cooked brown lentils.

I also serve the lamb as a lazy lunch with freshly baked bread to soak up all the garlic juices.


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. With a small, sharp knife, make 12 incisions 2 inches deep into the fleshy side of the leg. Insert a piece of garlic, some chopped anchovies and a small sprig of rosemary into each incision and push mixture in the incision.
  2. Cream the butter with the remaining anchovies and smear it all over the meat. Sprinkle the meat generously with black pepper, place in a roasting pan and pour the wine around it. Tuck in any leftover sprigs of rosemary and pour the lemon juice over the meat.
  3. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes; lower the oven temperature to 300F and roast for about another 2 hours, basting from time to time with the juices. (Cook slightly longer, depending on how well done you like your meat.) Let rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes before carving.
  4. While the lamb is cooking, make the salsa verde. Using a food processor,chop the herbs, anchovies and capers. Crush the garlic in a pestle and mortar or garlic crusher. Then mix them all together in a bowl, along with the lemon juice, vinegar and mustard. Add the olive oil gradually until you have a thick but pourable sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over thinly sliced lamb.

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