Greek Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb with Vegetables
A good leg of lamb is the hero of this dish! You could also use a shoulder. I have used approximately a 2 kg leg for this recipe. Cooking the lamb by slowly roasting it in a parcel of paper and foil keeps the juices in and the meat becomes beautifully tender. The marinade is a rub of olive oil, garlic, oregano, thyme and lemon zest and juice. I recommend marinating the lamb overnight if you can! The vegetables and herbs shine with the juices from the lamb!
Note: You will need to set aside time for this recipe, marinating the lamb overnight or for at least 4 hours, and the cook time of 5 hours.
Prep time │20 minutes
Cooking time│ 4.5-5 hours
Approximately 2 kg lamb leg (you can also use shoulder)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of chopped thyme
1 tablespoon of chopped oregano
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 large potatoes, washed, and cut into quarters
1 bunch of heirloom carrots, washed, trimmed, keeping green tops intact
1 red capsicum, washed, stems removed and cut into large pieces
2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 whole garlic bulb, sliced in two horizontally
1 lemon zested and juiced, reserve halves
½ cup of pitted Kalamata Olives
1 teaspoon chopped Oregano
1 teaspoon chopped Thyme
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons olive oil
100 mL water
100 mL white wine (stock can be used if you don’t want to use wine)
Salt for seasoning
To marinade lamb:
- Pat lamb dry and use a sharp knife to score the top of the lamb making shallow cuts all over.
- In a small bowl mix the marinade ingredients. Rub all over the lamb and place in a zip lock bag with any liquid from the marinade or cover in a bowl and refrigerate overnight (or at least 4 hours ahead).
- Preheat oven to 180℃ (fan). Line a roasting tray with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, place the potatoes, carrots, capsicum, tomato and toss with salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon zest and herbs.
- Place vegetables in the prepared roasting tray.
- Add leg of lamb fat side up on top of the vegetables. Add garlic halves and olives to pan.
- Add water and wine to pan (or stock if using), and juice of the lemon. Add lemon halves to the pan.
- Lay baking paper over the pan and tuck in around the sides and cover tightly with foil. This will seal moisture as it cooks.
- Cook in the oven for 4-4.5 hours, until meat looks juicy and tender. Check halfway through and add more water during the cook if necessary, to keep vegetables moist.
- Remove the baking paper and foil and increase oven temperature to 200℃. Cook for 20 minutes to brown lamb.
- Remove from oven and lamb should be tender and brown. Squeeze garlic out of skin if you wish. Crumble feta over the pan and garnish with herbs to serve.
Note: Cooking times might differ oven to oven. The leg of lamb should be deep brown and the bone will be exposed. Allow the lamb to rest for 30 minutes before serving.
Pumpkin, Sausage and Feta Gnocchi Traybake
I love a good traybake! They make weeknights so easy and you can pack a lot of flavour in! This is a riff on the Feta pasta that went viral and hopefully gives you ideas for other versions. Use some good gourmet Italian sausages for extra flavour!
500 g fresh gnocchi
1/2 a butternut pumpkin, cut into 1-2cm cubes (approximately 700 g)
2 Italian sausages, casings removed and crumbled
200 g feta ( I use Danish as it’s a little less salty and creamier but you can use a crumbly one)
1 tsp fennel seed
1tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1/4cup flat leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
Preheat oven to 230°C
Add butternut pumpkin, Italian sausage, feta, fennel seed, rosemary, thyme, and olive oil to a sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper. Mix gently to combine and spread into even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes until gnocchi is golden and pumpkin is tender.
Remove from oven and gently toss to mix juices, sprinkle with parsley to serve.
Chicken with Cacio è Pepe Orzo
Cacio è Pepe (cheese and pepper in Italian) is one of my favourite pasta dishes, it’s so easy and always handy if you only have pantry items on hand. This recipe combines the comfort of crispy skinned chicken with the cheesy pasta. Inspired by recipes of my favourite food writer Diana Henry and her use of orzo (or risoni), one of my favourite types of pasta, it’s a one pan comforting meal that means less washing up!
4-6 chicken thighs, bone in skin on
1 tbspn olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tspn fresh thyme leaves, extra for garnish
1 tbspn black pepper
1 cup orzo (risoni)
2 cups of chicken stock
1 tspn salt
1 cup grated pecorino or parmesan, plus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 180°C
Pat chicken dry with a paper towel, removing excess moisture helps the skin get crispy. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in an oven proof pan that has a lid over medium heat. I use a large non stick sauté pan with glass lid. Add chicken thighs skin side down for about 8 minutes to get the crispy skin. Turn over and brown underneath for about 6 minutes and remove from pan and set aside.
Using the same pan as the chicken with its juices and fat, set heat low to prevent onion burning and sauté the onion, garlic and thyme, until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the orzo and combine until coated, 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and reduce to evaporate – about 2 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, cheese and the pepper and stir to combine.
Return chicken on top of the orzo mixture and cover with lid.
Place in oven for about 35 minutes. The pasta will slowly absorb the liquid.
Remove the lid and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. The liquid should be absorbed and chicken cooked.
Fluff the rice with a fork and add extra cheese. Top with fresh thyme for garnish and serve.