Roast Lamb & Potatoes with Wild Fennel & Semi-Dried Tomatoes


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Limoncello and Linen Water

Limoncello and Linen Water

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2012

  • About

You will need a few long fresh wild fennel branches to put in the bottom of the dish to perfume it all beautifully. I use a round dish, about 34 cm (13½ inches) in diameter, to cook this in. I like to serve it with a green salad. If you can get crushed dried fennel flowers, use those instead of the fennel seeds here.


  • 1 shoulder of lamb, about 1.2 kg (2 lb 10 oz), with only the heavy fat removed
  • 4-5 wild fennel branches
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 5-6 thin rosemary sprigs
  • 5-6 sage leaves
  • 30 g (1 oz) plump semi-dried tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) white wine
  • 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Rinse the lamb and pat dry with paper towels. Cut 5 or 6 long slashes on the top. Make a bed of the fennel branches on the bottom of an oven dish and drizzle 4 tablespoons of olive oil over. Salt and pepper both sides of the lamb well and rub in the crushed fennel. Press a garlic half, a rosemary sprig, a sage leaf and a few slices of tomato into each slash. Put the lamb on top of the fennel branches and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over.

Roast until the top of the lamb is starting to change colour, about 20 minutes. Pour in the wine and add the potatoes around the lamb, turning them through the liquid. Lower the temperature to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and roast for 1 hour 15 minutes, turning the potatoes a few times. The lamb should be golden, nicely cooked and soft, and the potatoes should be golden brown. Serve the lamb cut in thick chunks, with the potatoes.