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Slow roast your Easter Sunday lamb like a MasterChef

Recent MasterChef SA winner Shawn Godfrey shares his favourite roast lamb recipe

14 April 2022 - 09:58
Delicious roasted lamb with side trimmings.
Delicious roasted lamb with side trimmings.
Image: 123RF/szakaly

Viewers of the latest series of MasterChef SA will know that after a nail-biting cook-off between Shawn Godfrey and fellow contestant Andriette de la Harpe, Godfrey pipped her to the post with his pork main course and SA’s fave pud, malva, to take home top honours and a grand prize of R1m.

And you’ll also know that Godfrey’s favourite way of cooking is over flames and SA indigenous ingredients such as Karoo lamb are a firm favourite too. The father of three says of all his influences, British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver ranks high on the list, “because he’s also a dad ... and passionate about cooking and eating healthily”.

And when it comes to Easter Sunday lamb will definitely be on the menu. “I love traditions, he said, “and always remember the Greek-style of slow roasted lamb on Easter Sunday. So without a doubt it’ll be slow roast Greek-style leg of lamb this Easter Sunday for my family, with roast potatoes, butternut fritters, carrots, broccoli and another firm SA favourite, pickled beetroot.”

MasterChef SA season 4 winner Shawn Godfrey .
MasterChef SA season 4 winner Shawn Godfrey .
Image: Supplied

In the Godfrey household another tradition kicks off on Easter Sunday morning and that’s making hot cross buns, “together with the children”, said Shawn.

Happy Easter.


Serves: 8-10


3 — 3.5kg leg of lamb

Olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cloves of garlic, grated

A handful of fresh oregano

A handful of rosemary sprigs

4 large red onions, quartered

6 large Rosa tomatoes

4 dried bay leaves

500ml (2 cups) chicken stock

125ml (½ cup) fresh lemon juice

500ml (2 cups) sauvignon blanc white wine

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 220° C.

2. Rub the lamb with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook in a roasting pan for 30 minutes, turning halfway until the meat has sealed and a crust has formed.

3. Crush the garlic and oregano into a paste using a pestle and mortar. Remove the lamb from the oven and using a small knife make cuts in the lamb leg and then rub the paste into the skin. 

4. Push the rosemary sprigs into the incisions pushing them as deep as possible into the flesh. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and turn the roast upside down in the pan. 

5. Add all the remaining ingredients ensuring that the roast has liquid that comes up to at least ⅓ —½ way up the side of the meat. Cover the roasting tray with at least two layers of tin foil, folding the edges down firmly to tightly so not to let any steam escape. Cook like this in the oven for 3 ½ hours.

6.  Lift the foil and open, turn roast over and top up liquid with boiling water to ensure the roast is covered up to ⅓ up the side of the meat and continue roasting for another 2 ½ hours before serving with  roast lamb with A gravy made from the pan juices, roast potatoes, butternut and carrot purée and a side of roasted pecan broccoli.

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