A generation ago, Kiwis liked to say there were 3 million people and 70 million sheep in New Zealand. These days, the human population has increased to 4 million and sheep numbers have almost halved, but there are still on average about 10 sheep per person in New Zealand! Lamb, therefore, is a favourite even if Sunday roasts are no longer as much of a weekly family tradition – although every Kiwi family would still have a carefully guarded recipe tucked away somewhere.
Here at Active New Zealand, we are no different. We constantly get asked for our recipes over the years, but by far, our most sought after one is our “secret” Lamb Roast Recipe. Each guide has “their” recipe, but I thought I would share one of our favourites with you. Just this once!
Serves about 10
1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) Leg of Lamb on the Bone
10 cloves of Garlic
Fresh Rosemary Leaves
Salt and Pepper
Vegetables: Potatoes, kumara (New Zealand sweet potato), parsnip, onions, pumpkin.
-Preheat oven to 200°C.
-Trim peel and generally prepare the vegetables - keep pieces of root vegetables uniform size, potatoes, kumara etc.
-Remove skin from lamb, leaving a thin layer of fat.
-Peel garlic cloves and chop finely along with the rosemary and lemon rind, then squeeze in juice. In a small bowl, combine rosemary, garlic, lemon, and then mix.
- Cut shallow slashes in lamb fat and rub mixture into the meat – don’t be shy, use your hands and get stuck in! Slice onions thinly and then layer on bottom of the roasting pan. Place meat on the onions, then place vegetables around the meat. Season the meat and vegetables with salt and pepper generously.
-In a small pot, melt or reduce mint sauce until a pourable consistency.
-Roast in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. Meanwhile, baste meat with mint sauce every 15 min
-The lamb is cooked when the juices that run out of the meat when pierced with a skewer are faintly pink or the internal temp is approx. 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit)
-Rest the lamb out of oven at least 10 minutes before carving.
That’s it! Simple eh! Slice meat thinly and serve with generous helpings of roasted veges and potatoes, inject plenty of laughs and stories and you have a perfect ACTIVE New Zealand meal! If this does sound hard, then let our guides do it for you in New Zealand.
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