A dish that relies and succeeds on little more than the flavour of lamb and salt. The leg is brined for 24 hours before being slow roasted, making for a succulent Sunday roast. Be care not to over-reduce the sauce as it will become very salty.
- 1.8 kg leg of lamb
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 100 g cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1–2 tbsp lemon juice
- 600 g rock salt
- 200 g white sugar
- 5 litres water
- 5 fresh bay leaves
- 20 black peppercorns
- rind of 1 lemon, peeled into thin strips
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Brining time 24 hours
Resting time 20 minutes
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
Combine the brine ingredients in a large pot and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Add the lamb to the brine and place in the fridge, covered, for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 130˚C.
Remove the lamb from the brine and pat dry with paper towel. Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole dish large enough to fit the lamb, over high heat. Brown lamb, turning, for 3–4 minutes until evenly coloured. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3½–4 hours until the lamb is almost falling from the bone. Remove the lamb from the casserole pan and rest, covered, for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, transfer the pan juices to a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Cook for 5 minutes until reduced by one-third. Whisk in the butter, a few cubes at a time, until incorporated. Add lemon juice and season to taste with pepper.
Carve the lamb into slices and serve with pan juices.
Photography by Alan Benson