Roast Leg of Lamb with Barley, Apricot and Mint

Preparation Time : 1 hour,
Cooking time : 2 hours,
Oven : Preheat to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4),
Calories per serving: 600


serves 8
4 lb (1.8 kg) boned leg of lamb
2 oz (50 g) pot barley
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
1/2 pint (285 ml) lamb stock or barley water
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

for the stuffing

1 large onion
3 oz (75 g) mushrooms
3 oz (75 g) dried apricots
4 tablespoons fresh mint
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Wipe boned lamb inside and out and leave to one side. Wash the barley thoroughly in a sieve under running water, then cook in boiling water for about 45 minutes, until just tender.

2. To make the stuffing, roughly chop the onion, mushrooms, dried apricots and mint. Heat the oil over a moderate heat and saute the onion and the mushrooms for 5 minutes until soft. Take off heat, stir in apricots and mint, and season to taste.

3. Reserving the barley cooking water, if you are using this instead of lamb stock, drain barley and stir into stuffing mixture.

4. Fill leg of lamb with stuffing and close with skewers or string, either by hand or with a trussing or darning needle. Weigh the lamb to calculate Cooking time, allowing 30 minutes per 1 lb (450 g) for well done, 20-25 minutes for pink to medium.

5. Place the meat in a roasting tin - and cover with foil if cooking a well-done joint, basting occasionally. Remove from the tin and leave to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes before carving.

6. For gravy, mix arrowroot with 1 tablespoon cold water, add to pan juices with barley water or stock. Cook until thick, strain into sauceboat and serve.

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