Roast Lamb with Chocolate, Anchovy and Capers

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Appears in

Real Chocolate: Over 50 Inspiring Recipes for Chocolate Indulgence

Real Chocolate

By Chantal Coady

Published 2003

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This is a very rich dish, I would recommend serving it with steamed basmati rice or new potatoes and a green salad.


  • 1 whole leg of lamb, about 2–3 kg
  • 1 large onion, roughly, chopped
  • small bunch of fresh rosemary
  • head of lavender (optional)
  • sprig or two of fresh thyme
  • 30 g dark chocolate or unsweetened cocoa

For the Marinade

  • 1 glass of red wine or sherry
  • 1 tsp good olive oil
  • 30 g tiny capers
  • 2 tsp strong Dijon mustard
  • 4–6 anchovy fillets (bottled or tinned)
  • handful of chopped parsley or coriander
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • black pepper


If you have time to marinate the lamb overnight it will improve the flavour and texture of the meat, but even an hour will make a difference. In a blender, make a marinade with the wine or sherry, oil, capers, mustard, anchovies, parsley, garlic and pepper. With a sharp knife, make slashes in the lamb every 5–6 cm about 1 cm deep. Massage the marinade into the lamb, put into a dish or baking tray, cover with foil and leave in a cool place.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Put the chopped onion in a small mound at the bottom of the baking tray with a sprig of rosemary and the lavender if using. Put the lamb on top of the onions, which act as ‘gravy browning’. Sprinkle the rest of the rosemary and thyme on top of the meat. Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes per 500 g, for pink, 30 for medium, or until cooked to taste. When ready, take it out of the oven and leave to stand in a warm place loosely covered with foil, for 10–15 minutes.

Make a gravy by scraping up the onion and any other juices and sediment in the tin. Take out the rosemary and add more wine if you like. When you have a thickish sauce, add the chocolate or cocoa and stir in well; it should thicken the sauce a little and give a deep colour and aroma. Strain or simply remove any very burnt pieces of onion before serving.

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