Roast Leg of Lamb with Anchovies and Garlic

From Gail Norton and Matthew Altizer

2014 Jul/Aug

This may seem like an unlikely combo, anchovies and lamb, but it’s delicious. The anchovies dissolve into a salty goodness and enhance the flavour of the lamb and rosemary.


  • 4-5 lb. leg of lamb, bone-in
  • 1 can anchovies
  • a small bunch of rosemary
  • 4 large garlic cloves, each peeled and sliced lengthways into 3 pieces
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 c. dry white wine
  • juice of 1 lemon


Preheat oven to 425°F. Using a small paring knife, make 12 small incisions about 2 inches deep in the fleshy part of the leg. Insert a clove of garlic, half an anchovy and a small sprig of rosemary into each incision, pushing them in with your finger. Let the lamb sit at room temp for at least an hour.

Cream the butter with the remaining anchovies and smear it all over the lamb. Season the meat lightly with salt and generously with pepper. Place the lamb in a roasting pan along with the white wine and any remaining rosemary. Roast the lamb for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350°F and roast the lamb for another hour, basting periodically, until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160°F for medium. Take the meat out of the oven and let it rest in a warm place for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

Taste the juices in the pan and season them with salt, pepper and lemon juice, if necessary. If the sauce is too thin, reduce it over medium heat until it reduces and thickens slightly.

Serves 4 to 6.