Braised lamb leg, stuffed with raisins, pine nuts and thyme

  • serves 6

A very special roast lamb dish. The stuffing is quick and easy to make, pearled spelt is simple to cook and works well with all the other flavours - pine nuts, raisins, thyme and parsley. Pop in a roasting pan with parsnips and carrots then cook in the stock and wine for a long, slow 23/4 hours. You'll be rewarded by the best Sunday lunch to share with your family and friends.



  • banana shallots 2, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • garlic 2 cloves, crushed
  • pearled spelt 250g
  • chicken stock 1.3 litres
  • pine nuts 50g, toasted
  • golden raisins 60g
  • thyme leaves 2 tsp
  • flat-leaf parsley a large handful, chopped
  • lamb leg 1.6kg, boned
  • red wine 250ml
  • young parsnips 400g, peeled and thickly sliced
  • young carrots 400g, scrubbed and thickly sliced
  • red wine vinegar 2 tbsp


  • Step 1

    In a large saucepan, gently soften the shallots in 2 tbsp olive oil for about 8 minutes, stirring often until soft and tinged with gold. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute then add the spelt and stir to coat in the oil. Now add 750ml stock and bring to the boil, partially cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 45 minutes, or until the stock has been absorbed.

  • Step 2

    Take out 200g cooked spelt (just over a quarter), put in a bowl and stir in the toasted pine nuts, raisins, thyme and 2 tbsp of the chopped parsley. Season well.

  • Step 3

    Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200c/gas 7. If the lamb leg is already rolled and tied, cut through the old string and lay the meat out flat, skin-side down. Season, then spread the spelt and pine nut mixture over the lamb, leaving a 3cm border at the edges, and roll up from one of the long sides to enclose it, tying lengths of kitchen string round at intervals to hold it firmly in a cylindrical shape. Put the lamb in a sturdy roasting tin, seam-side down, surround it with the parsnips and carrots and drizzle them with 2 tbsp oil.

  • Step 4

    Roast the lamb and vegetables for 30 minutes, until golden, then remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and turn the oven down to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Pour the wine and remaining 550ml stock into the lamb roasting tin and cover securely with foil, using oven gloves to protect your hands. Roast for 2 hours 45 minutes, until the lamb is extremely tender.

  • Step 5

    Add the roast vegetables to the reserved spelt in a separate roasting tin, along with the red wine vinegar, remaining parsley and seasoning to taste. Cover with foil and leave to cool.

  • Step 6

    When the lamb is cooked, take out the tin and rest for 15 minutes. Spoon the excess fat from the roasting tin. Reheat the spelt in the oven while the lamb rests, then slice the lamb thickly, discarding the string, and serve with the pan juices from the roasting tin and the warm spelt and roast vegetable mixture.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 916
  • Carbs 46g
  • Protein 66.1g
  • Fat 48.3g
  • Salt 0.5g
  • Fibre 8.7g