Herb Roasted New Zealand Lamb


Back to the freezer.  Wondering around the supermarket one day, who knows when, I saw a fantastic sale on New Zealand lamb, grabbed a leg and wedged it into the freezer.  In keeping with “vide congelateur”, I un-wedged it on Friday to thaw and invited 5 friends to lunch on Saturday.  Mah-ve-lous!  We began with smoked salmon from my fishmonger, L’Ambiance des Halles, on a bed of mixed salad with capers, creme fraiche and chives.


I decided to go with herbs and olive oil for the leg and, a la Jamie, jam large pieces of fresh bay leaf from M. Parret’s garden into the assertive stabs I made with the knife.  I then wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator overnight to mature.


Making the vegetables, I ignored one of my, my mother’s, my grandmother’s and probably her mother’s life long maxims; you can never make too much, but you can, to your everlasting discomfort, make too little.


Of course no one said so, but they wanted MORE!  Herb roasted vegetables are so simple to make, yet so delicious!


I did make a big old bowl of tzatziki for the lamb.


Like Goldilock’s porridge, it was just right!


Big thanks to Thierry for his masterful carving of the lamb and to Arielle in her role as conseiller technique.


Thanks to Tonio for his ability to sit still when his picture is being taken 🙂  But most of all for his sang-froid when after my camera  fell, stopped functioning and I was ready to go to bed or worse, in pointing out that the hood was blocking the lens.


Thank you always to Chantal who hates to see a dish unwashed or a surface left unwiped 😀  And sincere appreciation for her constant support and understanding.


And of course all my love to Le Parret who, with his meal long running commentary, never let me forget that he was French and that I was not 😀   Thank you, Cherie.


It was good and I had a good time making and sharing it with friends.


Herb Roasted Leg of Lamb

1 leg of lamb, violently stabbed all over with a knife

3 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 tbsp rosemary, chopped

1 tbsp black pepper

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1/4 cup olive oil

2 fresh bay leaves, broken into pieces

Mix together the garlic, thyme, rosemary, pepper, cumin and olive oil.  Rub this mixture into the lamb leg.  Insert pieces of bay leaves into the the knife slits, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Heat the oven to 425 F and roast the lamb for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 F and continue to cook for 1 hour.

Wine suggestion:  Cremant de Bailly Chardonnay, Pouilly Fusee, Morgon


About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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24 Responses to Herb Roasted New Zealand Lamb

  1. cecilia says:

    LOVE the violent stabbing..(you do realise it was already dead) nothing tastes as good as NZ lamb, in fact it is so good it is really hard to find in NZ, the export market is huge. I grow lamb on nothing but grass out here on the prairies but it still does not have that lavendery scent that a real NZ lamb has.. one day i am coming to have lunch with you too. i have made myself this promise. love love.. c

    • I would love to have a long, 4 -5 hour, M. Parret lunch with you! So what if we’re totally blasted afterwards 😀 I am a huge fan of New Zealand lamb and so far no other lamb tastes as good to me.

      • cecilia says:

        Totally Blasted in Sens (sounds like a new blog name!) .. one of the things I really miss living here (in the midwest) is the long drawn out relaxing mealtimes with more than a few bottles of wine and laughter.. I miss the laughter.. that sounds sad but I think you know what I mean.. maybe it is different in the cities.. c

        • cecilia says:

          Oh (zooming over from email) I see what you mean.. all true though.. and totally agree about the laughter.. Laughter means nothing but laughter and is good exercise.. c

  2. KhoaSinclair says:

    I love lamb! But that smoked salmon salad has my name all over it!

  3. What a great, fresh looking meal. I like when you go all Jamie on us. I need to find fresh bay leaves.

  4. Love your technique for the lamb, violent stabbing followed by gentle herb rub and decorative and delicious bay leaf. This looks like a wonderful and restorative feast! 🙂

  5. Mad Dog says:

    I like my lamb with rosemary 😉

  6. What a lovely meal as usual. So enjoyable to share with friends and pass an afternoon.

  7. OMFG, that looks damn fine my friend. Damn I love lamb… really, really love it!

  8. Karen says:

    Sound like a delicious meal with very good friends…just what you needed. 🙂

  9. 1 leg of lamb, violently stabbed all over with a knife – brilliant! This is probably in my top five ultimate perfect meals, especially if shared with loving, supportive friends. Love NZ lamb but have to say, the lamb down here on the south coast of England, reared on the marshes is pretty good too – one day we’ll share a meal of it!

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