Baby Lamb Leg Cooked on String, Char Leeks and Crisp Saltbush

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in


By Katrina Meynink

Published 2014

  • About


  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) vegetable oil
  • 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) baby lamb leg, thighbone removed
  • 4 tarragon stalks
  • 4 summer savory stalks (you can use mint if unavailable)
  • extra virgin olive oil, for frying, plus extra, to serve
  • 100 g ( oz) of saltbush, picked, to serve
  • 1 lemon, juice, to serve

Char Leeks

  • 4 finger-size leeks
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) olive brining liquid (use the liquid from a jar of olives)
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) chicken stock


To confit the garlic, combine the vegetable oil and garlic in a small saucepan, adding extra oil if necessary to cover the garlic. Cook over low heat for 25–30 minutes until very tender. Drain and set aside to cool, reserving the oil for another use.

Bring the lamb leg to room temperature. Rub with 2 cloves of the confit garlic, and place the tarragon and summer savory in the bone cavity of the leg. Season generously.

Preheat a barbecue with a rotisserie attachment. Tie the lamb leg with butcher’s string or use a hook and hang above the grill up to 40 cm (16 inches) from the flame if possible. Cook for approximately 1¼ hours, continuing to rotate until the inner temperature of the meat reaches 55°C (130°F) or it is cooked to your liking. Remove from the heat and rest, covered, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 100°C (200°F/Gas ½). Trim the leeks and place in a tight-fitting ovenproof dish. Pour over the olive brine and chicken stock. Cover with foil and steam in the oven for 15–20 minutes until cooked. Alternatively, place the leeks in a sous-vide bag with the olive brine and chicken stock. Seal the bag and cook in a water bath at 80°C (175°F) for 15 minutes.

When ready to serve, put the leeks and remaining liquor in a saucepan and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Strain the leeks, place in a frying pan over medium heat and char lightly on all sides.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan and flash-fry the saltbush until crisp (about 20 seconds).

To serve, slice the charred leek lengthways and place on a plate. Slice the rested lamb across the grain, and plate approximately 160 g ( oz) per serve. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Scatter with a generous amount of crisp saltbush and serve.