Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomato, Olives and Mint

by katerina on January 12, 2012

Roasted Lamb with Olives and Tomatoes Recipe

A roast leg of lamb is perfectly suited to a cozy Sunday dinner with family. The smell of the caramelizing tomatoes and olives will waft through your house and help welcome guests to your home. Try serving this family style so everyone can help themselvse to slices of the roast lamb and spoonfuls of sauce. You can pair it with risotto or mashed potatoes but a cauliflower puree is nice and light and pairs with lamb beautifully.

Leg of Lamb served on cauliflower puree

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Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomato, Olives and Mint

(serves 6)

1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 lb leg of lamb
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted & halved
3 tablespoon fresh mint
1 small can whole tomatoes
1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon vinegar

Using a mortar and pestle crush the whole coriander and combine with the salt, pepper and cloves. Remove the lamb from the fridge and rub it with the salt mixture. Cover and allow to rest at room temperature for an hour so it isn't too cold.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Heat a heavy skillet to medium high heat. Once hot add the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and brown the lamb thoroughly on all sides. Once browned remove to a plate.

If you are organized you should be able to make the sauce at the same time you are browning the lamb. Heat a second skillet or large sauce pan to medium high heat. Add the olive oil and sliced onion. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on to and stir the onions until lightly browned. Add garlic and stir for 3 minutes, enough to have the garlic be fragrant but not burned. Add the olives, mint and whole tomatoes along with 1 cup of water. Bring to a gently simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to the oven and place the lamb in the middle of the sauce. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325F. Cook the lamb until it reaches the desired temperature - 130-135 for medium rare as we did. Check the lamb every 20 minutes, and if the sauce looks dry stir in a 1/2 cup of water.

While the lamb is in the oven you can make the cauliflower puree. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Remove the excess leaves from the cauliflower and place, whole, in the water. Cover and cook at a simmer until the cauliflower is very soft. Remove from the water and transfer to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Add to a medium saucepan and stir in salt and pepper to taste. Cover. Reheat over low heat to serve.

Remove the lamb from the oven and tent lightly with tin foil. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing. Serve on top of a bed of cauliflower puree with tomato and olive sauce.

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 120 minutes | Total Time:135 minutes
Calories(approximate per serving): 650

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

anonymum January 21, 2012 at 11:28 pm

I had to come by and tell you this is currently cooking in my oven.
A friend of mine sent me the link so I thought I should give it a try, because here in Australia we have some amazing lamb and it deserves to be treated with respect.
If the amazing smell is anything to go by, this as respectful as a person can get when it comes to good meat and it will become a regular on our menu.
I will admit mine will be a little more well done than the picture here, but then that comes down to personal taste.


katerina January 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I know we like it pretty rare, which is not how everyone likes their lamb, but that is the beauty of cooking at home – make it like YOU like it, you know?

So glad you tried it and I really hope it was delicious!


anonymum January 23, 2012 at 1:23 am

It was nothing less than wonderful, and I thank you for the recipe.
We’ll be having it again, but I’ll tweak the sauce just a little and make more of it.
For someone who detests olives ordinarily, I wouldn’t hesitate to put them in next time.
The mixture of spices on the lamb and the flavours in the sauce complimented one another perfectly. I could be tempted to put a cup of red wine in as opposed to water though because it tends to go syrupy which we like, and lamb with any sort of red wine is something I love.


katerina January 23, 2012 at 10:41 am

Great! Glad to hear it, a class of wine sounds like a good idea, though I found you have to be careful to make sure the mixture doesn’t get too fry. Caramelized can quickly become burnt if you aren’t careful! You may need both :)


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