FARZANA’S LEGENDARY LEG OF LAMB

Recipe by Cariema Isaacs

by Tia
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This is certainly a much faster and less tedious way of preparing a leg of lamb compared to the traditional way, which is to parboil the leg of lamb and then slow-cook it on the stovetop. Farzana shares her recipe for Eid leg of lamb, which starts off the cooking process in the Instant Pot before being roasted in the oven and drizzled with a lush gravy before serving. She has her own blend of aromatics, but in the absence of that you can easily just add salt, dried chilli flakes and pepper, and you’ll still have a lovely, seasoned leg of lamb.

Serves: 6–8  

Preparation time: 30 minutes    

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the gravy slurry

  • ½ cup (125 ml) cold or tepid water
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt

For the leg of lamb

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, depending on the amount of fat on the meat
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) fine black or white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried chilli flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 1 leg of lamb, prepared by your butcher to fit your instant pot, or deboned
  • 50 g butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
  • 6–8 baby potatoes, washed but unpeeled
  • 6–8 shallots or medium-size pickling onions
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into portions the same size as the baby potatoes
  • ¾ cup (200 ml) water
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Method

Preparing the gravy slurry

  1. Place all the gravy ingredients into a jug and whisk to form a smooth slurry. Set aside until the lamb has been cooked.

Preparing the leg of lamb

  • Place the olive oil, spices and salt in a small bowl and mix. Set aside.
  • Dab the leg of lamb with a paper towel to remove the excess moisture. This will allow the oil and spices to adhere to the lamb.
  • Rub the aromatics and oil mixture all over the lamb and into the crevices.
  • Place the lamb on a roasting tray, which you’ll use throughout the cooking process. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to come to room temperature before cooking.
  • You won’t need the lid of the Instant Pot during the first phase of the cooking process. Set the Instant Pot to the sauté setting on high, which means you’ll press sauté three times.
  • Add the butter and, once it’s melted, add the leg of lamb. Sear the lamb for about 5 minutes on each side until it develops sear marks or has a deep golden colour.
  • Press cancel on the Instant Pot and transfer the lamb back to the same roasting tray.
  • Put the garlic, potatoes, shallots and carrots into the Instant Pot. Use the sauté setting on high and sauté the vegetables, stirring frequently.
  • Add the water and bring to a boil, still uncovered, and simmer for 1 minute. This assists with deglazing the pot and is a crucial step to avoid burning.
  • Spread out the vegetables and place the seared lamb directly on top of them. Cancel the sauté setting and secure the lid of the Instant Pot. Move the vent up to the Sealing Position. Select the Pressure Cook setting and select high pressure for 35 minutes.
  • Once done, allow the pressure to release naturally, i.e. wait for the pin to drop.
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220 °C. When the pressure has released, transfer the lamb and the potatoes back to the roasting tray.
  • Leave half the onions and one carrot portion in the pot. Arrange the rest of the vegetables around the lamb and potatoes and tuck in the sprigs of rosemary.
  • If the meat doesn’t contain too much fat, drizzle about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil over the lamb and vegetables.
  • Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden.
  • In the meantime, set the Instant Pot to Sauté mode and use a masher (or stick blender) to mash the remaining ingredients into a smooth consistency. Using a whisk, add the prepared gravy slurry, and give this a good mix. Switch off the Instant Pot.
  • Transfer the gravy from the inner pot of the Instant Pot and pour it through a sieve into a large bowl, pushing all the remnants of the gravy through with the back of a spoon.
  • Remove the leg of lamb and vegetables from the oven and pour over the gravy. Serve warm.

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