Born and bred on a sheep farm in the heartland of the Karoo, Sonja De Beer of Sonja’s Foods ( believes that a great meal starts with quality ingredients



  • ½ cup Sonja’s Foods Rosemary & Balsamic Dressing (or 80ml balsamic vinegar and 45ml olive oil mixed together)
  • 1,2kg deboned leg of lamb or a leg of venison like springbuck or kudu
  • Maldon salt
  • freshly grounded black pepper
  • 250g portabellini mushrooms
  • 250g white mushrooms

For the herb-olive pesto:

  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh herbs such as oregano, basil and thyme
  • ½ cup pitted black olives
  • 1 tin (6–8) anchovy fillets
  • 1T capers
  • 1T red wine vinegar
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil


1. Add half the dressing to a non-metallic bowl and place the lamb on top then pour over the remaining dressing. Cover with a lid, foil or cling wrap. Marinate the meat for preferably 2–3 days in the refrigerator, turning it over once a day.
2. Take the meat out of the refrigerator at least 6 hours before roasting and keep at room temperature.
3. To make the herb-olive pesto: place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a paste
4. Place the leg of lamb onto a roasting tray and pour the rest of the marinade into the tray. Smear the herb-olive pesto thickly over the lamb and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil (placing the shiny side facing outwards) and bake for at least  2½ hours at 160°C.
5. Remove the meat from the oven discarding the foil. Arrange the whole mushrooms around the leg of lamb, drizzle some of the sauce onto the mushrooms and bake for a further 20–30 minutes.
4. Remove the roast from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving into slices.

Cook’s tip: The leg of lamb can also be done in a Weber, reduce cooking time to 2 hours and fry the mushrooms separately in a pan.

This recipe serves 8 – 10.