Born and bred on a sheep farm in the heartland of the Karoo, Sonja De Beer of Sonja’s Foods (sonjasfoods.co.za) 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.