Lamb gets a Latin spin, with cumin, cinnamon and mild chillies.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (57 votes)


  • 220 g (1 cup) white sugar
  • 200 g (⅔ cup) table salt
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 kg lamb leg, trimmed, shank removed
  • 2 sebago potatoes, thickly sliced
  • blanched asparagus, baby corn, sautéed silverbeet and chillies, to serve

Huantia paste

  • 4 dried aji panca (see Note) or 2 dried ancho chillies (see Note)
  • 4 dried aji mirasol (see Note) or 1 banana chilli
  • 250 ml (1 cup) olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped

Cook's notes

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.


As the brining of the lamb takes 4 hours and the marinating 2 hours, you may want to start this recipe a day ahead.

DRINK 2010 Siesta Pinot Noir, Tupungato, Argentina

Place sugar, salt, spices, bay leaves and 2.5 litres water in a large pan and bring to the boil, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Immerse lamb in the brine, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Drain, reserving 80 ml strained brine.

Meanwhile, to make paste, soften chillies in boiling water for 3 minutes, then set aside.

Place oil and garlic in a saucepan over low heat and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add onions, remove pan from heat and stand for 10 minutes or until oil cools.

Blend onion mixture with chillies to a paste. Spread half over lamb, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Reserve remaining paste.

Preheat oven to 160°C. Place potatoes in a roasting pan and top with lamb. Cover with baking paper, then foil and roast, basting lamb halfway, for 4 hours. Increase heat to 200°C. Roast for a further 1 hour or until lamb is tender. Rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make gravy, bring reserved brine and the remaining paste to the boil. Cook for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Serve lamb with vegetables, chillies and gravy.


• Dried chillies are available from Fireworks Foods.


Photography by Alan Benson.