Once you try this lamb roast recipe, you won’t cook it any other way

Meet Margaret. She’s the feminine half of the pair behind The Dales. She loves adventure and spending time with family and friends in this unique part of Australia’s island state.

She also loves donning her apron and dutifully preparing amazing meals for others. Not. Scratch that last bit.

She doesn’t mind cooking, and she loves good food, but she’s not the sort who relishes hours in the kitchen while everyone else is getting muddy on the trails. Which is why she wanted to share this recipe with you.

This lamb roast recipe is a team effort. The key to EVERYone enjoying this delectable meal is delegating the various steps. Whoever is not out on the tracks at the time will be in charge of the half hourly/hourly basting!

As to the recipe itself, this is a good old lamb roast with a twist. The recipe is one passed on from Margaret’s sister-in-law, and then added to over the years, depending on the circumstances and what’s in her spice rack on the day. This is the basic recipe, but you have Margaret’s full permission to go to town and make it your own.

A word of warning though: you can smell this roasting a long way down the road, the strong Indian aromas wafting in the Derby breeze. It may attract more bodies around your dinner table than you bargained for! Lucky for you, it will serve 8-10 adults easily.


2 tsp black peppercorns

5 cloves

½ tsp cardamom pods

¼ tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 star anise

½ a cinnamon stick

½ a nutmeg grated

¼ tsp ground ginger

1tbsp sweet paprika

¾ tbsp sea salt

25g fresh ginger, grated

3 garlic cloves, crushed (or as many as 10, depending on your preference!)

Bunch of coriander (stems and leaves)

60ml lemon juice

120ml groundnut or mild olive oil

1 leg of lamb (about 2.5-3kg)


  • Dry Roast first eight ingredients in a cast iron pot for a minute or two, until the spices begin to pop and smell good. Add nutmeg, ginger, paprika, and stir through.
  • Grind to a powder, and stir through all remaining ingredients.
  • Use a sharp knife to score deep, 1.5cm slits in the lamb in a few places.
  • Place in a large pan and rub the marinade all over, especially into the slits. Cover with foil and marinate, preferably overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius.
  • Put lamb in oven, fatty side facing up, and roast for a total of 4.5 hours, or until meat is tender.
  • After 30 minutes of roasting, add a cup of boiling water to the pan and use this liquid to baste the meat every hour or so. Add more water if needed. For the last 3 hours cover the lamb with double foil.
  • Once done, remove the lamb and allow to rest (the most important bit!).
  • Carve and serve.

Margaret’s Lamb Roast Tips

“If we go away for a weekend, I usually have the lamb all prepped and marinating the day before we go. And by “I”... I actually mean Martin!”
“I love cooking, but I don’t like things to get complicated or time consuming, so a simple salad and a few trays of roast veggies and everyone’s happy.”
“Friends or children must always be enlisted to peel potatoes and chop the veggies!”