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Slow-roasted leg of lamb, lemon & bay potatoes

Ed Smith

A Mediterranean-style Easter roast, served with tzatziki

Recipe Meta


15 mins


4 hours






For the lamb

  • 2kg leg of lamb
  • 1 bulbs of garlic
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 350ml dry white wine
  • 1kg waxy new potatoes
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
  • 6 bay leaves

For Marianna’s tzatziki

  • 500g Greek yogurt
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 handful of dill
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


Heat the oven to 240C. Place the lamb in a roasting tin or other oven-proof dish into which it fits fairly snuggly.

Cut the garlic bulb in half through its middle (rather than root to tip). Pop the equivalent of three full cloves from the bulbs, roughly chop, then use a pestle and mortar to pound them into a puree with a pinch of flaky salt as an abrasive. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tbsp of the dried oregano. Rub all over the lamb, paying particular attention to the flesh (as opposed to the fat). Transfer to the roasting tin and cook for 20 mins, so the meat is burnished. Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the temperature to 160C.

Lift the meat from its tin and set aside. Pour in the wine and 350ml water, and add in the remaining 1 tbsp oregano, the bay leaves, potatoes, garlic and lemon quarters. Nestle the lamb back in. Carefully tent the tray (which will be hot) with foil, then return to the now cooler oven for 3½ hours.

Meanwhile, make the tzatziki. Grate the cucumber and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Finely chop the dill. Mince the garlic with a little salt. Mix everything together and add the vinegar and olive oil. Serve with more dill and olive oil.

Remove the roasting tin from the oven and increase the temperature to 180C. Check the lamb – it should be succulent and feel as though the meat will come apart with just a little push from a spoon and fork. If not, return the tray to the oven for 30 mins. If cooked enough, transfer the lamb to a warm plate and cover with the foil. Return the tray with the potatoes and juices to the oven for a 20-30 mins blast. They won’t become crispy, but they will take on a little more colour. 

Serve the lamb in large chunks that’ve been pushed away from the bone, with plenty of broth, the potatoes, and loads of tzatziki. Perhaps a green or Greek salad for luck.

Images: Joe Woodhouse