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Braised leg of lamb with mint, parsley & almond pesto

Braised leg of lamb with mint, parsley & almond pesto

When feeding the family over a holiday weekend, it’s good to remove the pressure to achieve perfection. Braised leg is a great option. 

5 out of 5 stars(6) Rate this recipe
  • Serves6
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook4 hrs
  • Total time4 hrs 20 mins
  • Plusresting

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  • 2kg whole lamb leg
  • ½ tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 1 bulb/s bulb garlic, halved horizontally
  • 6 bay leaves

For the pesto

  • pack x 25g packs mint, leaves only
  • 25g pack flat leaf parsley, leaves only
  • 175ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 30g blanched whole almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest, juice of ½, more if needed
  • 20g Parmigiano Reggiano, roughly chopped, plus extra finely grated (optional)


  1. Put the lamb in a roasting tin or other ovenproof dish into which it fits fairly snugly. Rub the salt all over and set aside to let a little of the moisture draw out. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 240ºC, gas mark 9.

  2. Roast the lamb for 20 minutes, so the meat is slightly burnished, then reduce the temperature to 150ºC, gas mark 2. Remove the roasting tin from the oven. Pour the wine and 350ml water into the hot tin and add the garlic and bay leaves. Carefully tent the tray with foil, then return to the oven for 3 hours 30 minutes.

  3. At some point while the lamb is cooking, make the pesto in a food processor or blender. Pulse the picked herbs with 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the almonds, lemon zest and parmesan, plus a little more oil if needed, and blitz to give a coarse paste. Decant to a serving bowl, then stir in the remaining oil and the lemon juice, so you’re left with a loose, slick, green sauce. Taste and season with salt, more lemon juice or grated parmesan, if needed.

  4. When the lamb is ready, transfer the joint to a platter and cover with the foil again for 20 minutes, while the rest of your meal comes together. The lamb should now be succulent and easy to carve or pull apart when you serve.

  5. Once settled, skim some of the fat from the tray and transfer 3-4 ladlefuls of the lamb broth to a saucepan. Simmer and reduce for 10 minutes to make a gravy. Reserve the remainder as a stock or broth for another day. Serve with the rested lamb.

Cook’s tip

When making this recipe for Rob Delaney on episode 1, season 3 of Dish, Angela Hartnett added two anchovies to the pesto. 

And to drink...

Waitrose Blueprint Rioja Posadas Hispanas


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,647kJ/ 639kcals



Saturated Fat












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