Agnello al Tartufo Nero

Lamb with Black Truffle


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This rich and delicious dish of roasted lamb flavoured with mushrooms and truffle really shows off the very best of the cuisine of Umbria. This is without doubt a grand recipe of the upper-class kitchens of the region, and is a sharp contrast to the simple, basic recipes of the neighbouring peasant and shepherd communities. If fresh truffle is not available, it is always better to use a truffle butter rather than truffle oil, which is sometimes so full of chemical ingredients that it can be a long way from the real taste of precious Italian black truffle.


  • 1.8 kg/4 lb leg of lamb, boned
  • 200 g/7 oz minced/ground veal
  • 200 g/7 oz minced/ground pork
  • 50 g/2 oz black truffle, chopped
  • 2 lamb kidneys, trimmed and chopped
  • 600 g/1 lb 6 oz/ cups mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 6 juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 45-60 ml/3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup dry red wine
  • about 450 ml/¾ pint/scant 2 cups stock (made with the removed lamb bone, if you like)
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp potato starch or potato flour
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Open out the boned leg of lamb and carefully check the meat for any bone splinters. Remove any excess fat from the lamb. (You could use the removed bone to make the lamb stock, if you like.)

  2. Mix the minced meats with the truffle, kidneys, mushrooms, four of the juniper berries and 15 ml/1 tbsp of the extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Spoon this stuffing mixture on to the inside of the opened-out lamb leg.

  3. Carefully close up the lamb leg and tie it tightly and securely into shape using kitchen string or twine. Transfer it into a roasting pan. Season again on the outside with salt and black pepper, and rub it all over with the remaining olive oil.

  4. Roast the lamb for about 40 minutes, turning and basting from time to time, until cooked through. When it is cooked, transfer the meat to a board and leave it to rest.
  5. Meanwhile, place the roasting pan over a medium heat. Pour the red wine into the pan and boil to remove the acidity while scraping the sediment from the base of the pan.
  6. Mix the stock with the potato starch or flour and stir into the roasting pan. Add the remaining juniper berries and cook, stirring, to form a reduced and thickened gravy.
  7. Carve the lamb and serve with the gravy.