Easter New Zealand Lamb – herb roasted leg of lamb with apricots, walnuts and almonds 

I love Lamb but it is not something we eat very often so I jumped at the chance to try this fabulous recipe. I wasn’t so sure that we would enjoy it. The idea of lamb with apricots and nuts was not something I would have ever put together but we do enjoy trying something new.
1 x 2 – 2.5kg leg of NZ Lamb
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced the leaves from 15cm stalk of rosemary, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 heads of fennel, cut into 6 wedges each
2 bunches baby carrots, skins scrubbed
10 dried apricots, halved
100g whole almonds
60g walnut pieces

Lamb will take approx 30 minutes per kilo, plus 15 minutes. Alternatively a temperature probe is very handy. Insert into the thickest part of the meat half way in. It should read 50-55˚C. Upon resting the temperature will rise to 60˚C. Perfect pink roast lamb! If you like it a little more done, allow 1 hour and 25 minutes, or a reading of 65˚C. Always rest before carving.

Cooking method: 
1.     Preheat oven 180˚C.

2.     Place the lamb in a roasting dish and poke a thin small knife into the flesh in 12 places.

Mix the garlic, rosemary, thyme and olive oil with a little salt and pepper and poke this into all of the holes and rub the remainder over the leg. 
4.     Place in the centre of the oven and roast for 45 minutes.  After 20 minutes, add 100ml water to prevent the garlic from burning.

5.     Tip the fennel and carrots onto the lamb and turn the leg over then roast for 30 minutes.

6.     Take the lamb from the dish, add the apricots, walnuts and almonds, then replace the lamb, again turned over, and put back in the oven.

7.     It will be cooked medium (which is lovely for leg of lamb) in another 15 – 25 minutes depending on the size.

8.     Remove the lamb from the roasting dish and sit on a plate loosely covered with foil and a tea towel, and rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes. 

9.     Turn the oven off, put the roasting dish back in, and keep warm.
I served the New Zealand Lamb and vegetables with spinach and broccoli with gravy drizzled over the top. We all really enjoyed the roasted vegetables which complement the lamb really well and the lamb was cooked to perfection.

To find even more yummy lamb recipes and more about New Zealand Lamb go to www.loveourlamb.co.uk