Roasting time!

Roasting is in general a very dear cooking method for me. I love roasts, I mean who doesn’t! Whatever kind of meat, the accompaniments, the flavours, the sauces… roasts always turn out succulent, and very rich in flavour. To me, a roast that is properly cooked, is the best kind of food that can come out of any kitchen!

Today’s recipe is not a recipe for pulled lamb, this is a recipe for medium-rare to medium lamb, which is very popular had this way in French Cuisine, where the meat will remain pink on the inside. Pulled lamb or falling off the bone lamb is a different cooking method altogether, which I will cover in another post. This recipe is absolutely delicious, and the date saba jus, when poured over that piece of lamb meat, will cover it with lush sweet and savoury flavour that makes the experience absolutely heavenly.

Note that – For a variation to the recipe you can stud the lamb with pitted olives instead of the rosemary and garlic. If Date Saba is not available substitute with Balsamic Vinegar mixed with a small quantity of date puree.

I have included for you some tips to guarantee perfection, at the end of the post, and have also included for you a video on how to carve a roast leg of lamb on the bone, demonstrated by the best of the best Chef Heston Blumenthal!


For the leg of lamb
  • 1 (4Kg) whole leg of lamb with bone
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 4 cloves garlic, quartered lengthwise
  • Coarse Salt & Black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Roasted Vegetables
  • Assorted capsicums, deseeded and quartered
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 4 large carrots, roughly sliced
  • 1 large eggplant, roughly chopped
  • 2 apples, quartered (optional for sweet notes)
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
For Date Saba Marinade
  • 1/4 cup Date Saba
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/4 cup DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
For the Lamb Jus
  • Roasting Pan Drippings
  • 70g Butter, cut into cubes

Preheat your oven to 325F.

Start by preparing the meat. Using a sharp small knife, make a some incisions all over the meat. Alternately fill the incisions with the garlic quarters and rosemary leaves. Rub the meat with the olive oil all over. Sprinkle with coarse salt & Black pepper.

Heat your skillet, and brown the leg of lamb slightly on all sides. Then place it in the centre of a baking tray and place it in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, boil your chopped potatoes for 5 minutes, just to get them ready for cooking. Drain and set them aside.

Make the Date Saba Marinade

In a bowl, mix well together the date saba, the honey along with the salt and black pepper. Drizzle the olive oil slowly while continuously whisking to incorporate. Whisk vigorously to achieve a thick paste consistency.


Place the chopped vegetables and any remaining garlic cloves together with the prepared potatoes in a large bowl. Add the date saba marinade and coat all. Remove the lamb from the oven and add all the coated vegetables, to the sides of the lamb and return to the oven. Roast for 2 1/4 hours (or until the temperature registers 140F for medium-rare or 155F for medium). Turn the vegetables 3 times throughout.

Once done, remove from the oven, place the leg of lamb in a sides dish, cover with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Once done, slice and place the meat and vegetables in the serving dish. Serve with the Lamb Jus.


While the lamb is resting,

Make the lamb Jus

Pour the roasting juices in a saucepan and bring them to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the jus reduces a little bit. Add the butter gradually whisking after each addition to combine. Place in a sauceboat and serve next to the lamb and roasted vegetables.

Here are some pointers to help you achieve the best results

  • Of course, the base is good quality ingredients, so Pick the freshest meats possible, the best cuts possible and follow through with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Buy a heat proof meat thermometer. I don’t know why the word thermometer scares people! Every time I say it I find faces staring back at me with a certain panic! It is a very simple non-dangerous kitchen gadget that can guarantee best results, always! This is how you know that you have cooked your meat just right; not over nor under! The best meat thermometer for roasts is that which can be inserted before the cooking and can go in the oven.  (See tip below on how to use a meat thermometer for roasts)
  • Slow cooking is always best with roasts. A medium oven and time are the best ingredients for roasts. This way the meat is not forced into submission, rather eased into it. Allowing the meat to slowly release its juices, keeping it moist and tender.
  • Meat cuts on the bone always result in more tender and richer flavoured roasts. I always prefer on-the-bone cuts for roasting.
  • Cuts on the bone do not necessarily need to be placed on a rack, They can be placed straight on the baking tray. However boneless roasts do need to be placed on a rack to allow circulation of heat and avoid burning the bottom before the rest of the piece is cooked through.
  • Always place the meat fat-side upwards.
  • The heat is almost always on medium 325F, however some cuts do require higher temperatures. Most recipes will tell you the required temperature, but if not it is safe to guess the above temperature. This is also why it is important to have a meat thermometer.
  • The time required to cook a roast can never be generalised. It all depends on the type of meat, the cut of meat, the size (weight of the piece), whether there is bone or without…etc. (see the chart below for guidelines on roasting whole on-the-bone leg of lamb )
  • The method of roasting does not require covering the meat while in the oven, that is a different method that relies on the build up of steam. You also do not need to add water or liquids to your roasts, also another cooking method, which I will dedicate a post for. Roasts are uncovered, dry cooked meats, where we rely on the meats juices and fats for moistness.
  • Remove the roast 5 degrees lower than the desired final doneness. Residual cooking will raise the temperature to the proper degree.
  • Roasts must rest at room temperature after done for at least 15 minutes. This will release the extra juices instead of bleeding on the serving plate. The roast continues to cook through this time due to residual heat.


How to use a heatproof (go in the oven) meat thermometer

  • Once your meat is ready to go in the oven, insert the thermometer. Insert it at least 2 inches into the centre of the largest muscle. Do not let the thermometer touch the bone, the fat or the roasting tray, as these do not give accurate readings of the meat’s doneness.
  • This thermometer can remain in the meat throughout the roasting.
  • Once the thermometer registers the desired temperature, push it in a little further, if the temperature changes registering lower degrees, continue cooking the meat until the thermometer reads the right temperature. If the temperature remains the same, then your meat is done and ready to remove from the oven.
  • If you have an instant read thermometer, then check the temperature 1/2 an hour before the time is up. Then check every 10 minutes to ensure proper doneness.



“Dima – I think your touch in food has entered many kitchen this Ramadan creating such a fun atmosphere :)”

– Samah Abu Ghazaleh’s message to me as she was making her Appetisers Buffet from (previous recipes)

Through this space, my courses and demonstrations, I have been trying to get you all to see for yourselves how cooking is not a chore, but actually so much fun! So when I hear you say that I was able to actually bring this energy into your kitchens, and have you experience the numerous rewards of cooking I cannot ever be happier! Thank you all for the kind, sweet words and for actually going for it this Ramadan, you truly are a super cool bunch 🙂

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