12 Hour Garlic Roasted Lamb

Apparently tradition states you should eat fish on Good Friday and lamb on Easter Sunday. Being of an overly religious greedy bent, we decided to stick with tradition this easter.

This lamb falls off the bone with the same ease and grace my sister rides a bicycle ie that bitch is slidin’ off that sucker like you wouldn’t believe. It’s super-sweet garlicky-ness goes well with roast potatoes of course, and lightly steamed carrots swimming in salty butter. The lightness of the carrots is a nice contrast to the caramel of the lamb and the potatoes. It also matched up beautifully with an eggplant, onion & zucchini ratatouille.  Less traditional sure, but yumcious all the same.

The recipe calls to marinate for 2-3 days… frankly, we don’t plan that far ahead so we left it marinating from mid-afternoon till midnight when she went in the oven and she was a thing o’ beauty. 

The garlicky paste becomes a sweet crust that is unbelievely moreish.

A lot of fat drips into the tray which makes you believe that there aren’t a lot of pan juices but do not be deceived!  Pour off the oil and a beautiful slick of dark juice will be revealed.  It won’t be a HUGE amount but it should be enough for a delightful jus or basis for a gravy if you can be bothered.  Goes well with a super easy spinach skordalia too (which we just so happened to have some leftovers off in the fridge)


  • 1 leg of lamb – bone in and shank snipped by the butcher.  Needs to have a good layer of fat so it doesn’t dry out during cooking.
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 lemons, zested
  • 2 tbsp sea salt flakes


  • Dry toast the cumin in a drypan till it is fragrant then pound it to a rough powder in a mortar & pestle. Set aside.
  • Smash the garlic in a motor and pestle with a pinch of salt until it forms a paste.
  • Add all remaining herbs and spices to the paste and pound well.
  • Score the lamb fat with a sharp knife.
  • Heavily rub the mixture over the lamb.
  • Place the lamb in an air tight container and marinate for 2 to three days, refrigerated. 
  • Remove from the fridge around 30 minutes before baking to bring it to room temperature.
  • Place in a 110°C oven for around 12 hours, or until golden brown and sticky.
  • When possible (ie when you aren’t sleeping) baste with the cooking juices.

Serves: 8 (with a lot of leftovers)
Recipe: Shane Delia


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