Roast Leg of Lamb with Cardamom Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

A Taste of Dreams

A Taste of Dreams

By Josceline Dimbleby

Published 1976

  • About

This is really just a very delicious sauce to make a Sunday joint more exciting. I have put down quantities for a generous amount of sauce as it always seems to be very lavishly used on the meat.


  • 1 leg of lamb (preferably English, or best of all Welsh)
  • about 8 cardamom pods
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 oz butter (25 g)
  • 1 oz cornflour (25 g)
  • ¾ pint milk (425 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons mild French mustard the very mild whole seed kind is best)
  • 1 dessertspoon of powdered cardamom you should be able to get this and the whole kind at delicatessens or Indian grocers)
  • salt, black pepper


Several hours or the day before you roast it make several incisions in the lamb. Peel the cardamom pods and find several little black seeds inside. Stick these into the incisions in the lamb. Put the lamb on a dish and rub all over with a mixture of the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Leave in a coolish place (not in the fridge). Then pre-heat the oven to Gas 5 (375°F/190°C). Rub a bit more olive oil over the lamb and roast for about 2 hours, basting occasionally (the time may vary according to the size of the leg – I am assuming one weighing 4–5 lb (1.75–2.25 kg).) Now make the sauce. Start by melting the butter and take off the heat. Stir in the cornflour then fairly gradually add the milk. Put back on the heat, bring to the boil stirring continuously (when it will thicken) and simmer for 3 minutes gently. Stir in the mustard, the powdered cardamom and salt and black pepper to taste. When the joint is ready, pour off the excess fat from the baking pan and stir the remaining juices into the sauce. Put the sauce into a gravy jug and serve with the lamb. New or boiled potatoes go much better with this sauce than roast ones.