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Cider and honey roast leg of lamb

Apples and cider go wonderfully with lamb. The apples break down on cooking and help thicken the sauce. Crisp roast potatoes and steamed tender stem broccoli make the perfect accompaniments.


  • 1 leg of lamb, about 2kg, fat trimmed and skin scored

  • olive oil, to drizzle

  • 3–4 garlic cloves, skins on and halved

  • few sprigs of thyme

  • juice from 1⁄2 lemon

  • 4 apples, russets or braeburns

  • 500ml medium cider

  • runny honey, to drizzle

  • 300ml lamb or chicken stock


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7.

  • 2.

    Weigh the lamb and calculate the final cooking time at 10 minutes per 450g for medium rare, 15 minutes per 450g for medium.

  • 3.

    Score the fat around the leg of lamb in a crisscross pattern, drizzle with a little olive oil then rub all over with salt and pepper.

  • 4.

    Place in a deep roasting pan and scatter the garlic and thyme over and around.

  • 5.

    Pour over the lemon juice and drizzle again with olive oil.

  • 6.

    Sprinkle with a little more seasoning then roast in the hot oven for 20 minutes.

  • 7.

    Slice the apples into quarters and cut off the cores.

  • 8.

    Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the heat to 180°C/Gas 4.

  • 9.

    Scatter the apple around the pan and baste the lamb with the cider.

  • 10.

    Turn the lamb over and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of honey.

  • 11.

    Return to the oven for 30 minutes.

  • 12.

    Turn the lamb round, baste the meat with the pan juices then drizzle over another tablespoon of honey.

  • 13.

    Now roast for the calculated time. To check, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the lamb then press the meat lightly: the redder the juices, the rarer the meat.

  • 14.

    Lift the lamb to a carving board and cover with a piece of foil. Rest in a warm place while you prepare the gravy.

  • 15.

    At this point, the apples and garlic in the roasting pan should be very soft. Press with a fork, then tip the entire contents of the pan into a fine sieve over a saucepan. Push down with the back of a ladle to extract all the juices and flavour from the apples and garlic. Discard the pulp.

  • 16.

    Place the saucepan over medium heat and add the stock.

  • 17.

    Bring to the boil and let it bubble vigorously until the sauce has thickened to a desired gravy consistency.

  • 18.

    Taste and adjust the seasoning then pour into a warm serving jug.

  • 19.

    Carve the lamb into thin slices and serve drizzled with the apple cider gravy.


Extract from the book Cooking for Friends by Gordon Ramsay, rrp $49.95. Copyright Harper Collins Australia 2009

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Posted by Report
This was soo good, forgot to take the fat off so it could have been better. also used home brewed spiced cider which was a bit strong for the gravy but it still turned out really good. ate it with garlic roast potatoes, roasted carrots, cauliflower and cheese sauce and yorkshire puddings. awesome sunday roast!!
Posted by Jacquelyn6Report
sounde so delisious and irristable cant wait to try it ps... love you show you insppire me to cook and invent my own recipes thank you
Posted by alkie!Report
This looks amazing.
Posted by Gaynor8Report
I intend to cook this in the very near future.Lamb in freezer waiting!!
Posted by KayeReport
i would never have thought to cook lamb with apples but i intend to buy a lamb leg today and try it
Posted by Report
doing this for new year
Posted by Report
Posted by Barb46Report
this is a very old traditional British recipe at it's base. My gran used to stick the lamb with garlic and dress with rosemary and let it marinate in the apple juice or cider overnight. The apples were placed around the roasting tin after being cored and stuffed with breadcrumbs mixed with currents/sultanas. Then to the oven. Really nice dish and good to add carrots and parsnips to the roasting tin too.