RECIPE | Slow-roasted leg of lamb with roasted onions & chimichurri

Use a dollop of chimichurri sauce to give your next Sunday roast some South American flair

14 April 2019 - 00:00 By Christine Capendale
Slow-roasted leg of lamb with roasted onions and chimichurri.
Slow-roasted leg of lamb with roasted onions and chimichurri.
Image: Hein van Tonder

Serves: 6


2kg leg of lamb

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 cloves garlic, crushed

60ml (4 tbsp) chopped fresh rosemary

15ml (1 tbsp) brown sugar

250ml (1 cup) white wine OR lamb stock

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

4 onions, each cut horizontally into 3 thick slices

Chimichurri sauce:

20ml finely chopped onion

30ml (2 tbsp) red wine vinegar

1 jalapeño chilli, chopped (or use 1 small green chilli, seeded)

1 clove garlic, crushed

15g fresh flat-leaf parsley, stalks removed

15g fresh coriander, stalks removed

5g fresh oregano leaves

50ml olive oil

5ml (1 tsp) honey

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Place the lamb into a large roasting dish and season. Use your hands to rub the garlic over the meat and then rub with the rosemary and brown sugar. Pour the wine or lamb stock into the roasting dish, squeeze the lemon juice over the meat and sprinkle with the zest.
  3. Cover the roasting dish with a lid, or tightly with foil, and roast for 2½ hours, basting the meat occasionally.
  4. Remove the lid or foil from the meat and roast in the oven for another 45 minutes until the meat is golden brown and very tender. Add the thick onion slices to the roasting dish for the last 30 minutes of the cooking time and baste the meat and the onions at least twice. If needed, you can drizzle a bit of olive oil on the onions during roasting.
  5. To make the chimichurri sauce, mix the chopped onion, red wine vinegar, jalapeño and garlic and stir well. Add the herbs, olive oil and honey and whizz together in a blender. The sauce must still be a little chunky. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. To serve, place the carved lamb, roasted onions and some fresh herbs on a platter. Drizzle some of the chimichurri sauce over the meat, serving the rest on the side.

Cook's tip: skim off any fat from the pan juices in the roasting pan and drizzle the juices over the cooked meat before serving. Alternatively use them to make a gravy.

Recipe from 'MEALS, Effortless Food for Every Occasion' by Christine Capendale.