8 Hour Lamb with Herby Dressing and Crumbled Feta

I came across this particular recipe in the first cook book I bought since being in Australia ‘What Katie Ate’ and this is what inspired me to create my own food blog.

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Katie Quinn Davies only really got into cooking in her early thirties, spending most of her twenties as a graphic designer where she met her Aussie husband and moved to Melbourne. Due to family circumstances, Katie was given the chance to focus on her passion for food and link this into her creative background to eventually become a food stylist and photographer. Her photography is what captured me, very rustic and reflective upon her Irish heritage. Take a look at her blog and book – it has some great recipes but most of all, it’s like a book of inspiring artwork – great surfaces and styling ideas too, if this interests you.


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I have cooked this frequently for the last few years – I’ve made this is Lakes Entrance at my boyfriend’s fathers house, getting up at 5am (when they went off to go fishing) to sort out the lamb ready for lunch – where it was sat happily next to the huge ‘catch of the day’ and still went down a treat. I’ve made this for BBQ’s, one for some Argentinian friends in souvlaki style with homemade flatbreads and tzatziki, once for my mum when she came to stay (which typically didn’t work so well) as I think the lamb was more like mutton and hard to shred – but still delicious she said.  Basically, it’s a great dish to feed a crowd or bring along to a BBQ and I’m sure the anticipation created from having this in the oven all day results in greater ecstasy when you finally get to eat it.

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The yoghurt flatbreads are definitely worth making with this (recipe on my blog), so quick to make, absolutely no kneading and homemade tzatziki is also a great enhancer to the dish. The herby sauce is like a modern take on mint sauce and really ‘sparks it up’ keeping in tradition with the Greek theme. Black olives and even a fresh tomato sauce can also be great additions…..


Ingredients Serves 2 VERY hungry people or 4 as a main or crowd for BBQ addition!

  • 2 brown onions, quartered
  • 2 bunches of rosemary
  • 1.5kg leg of lamb
  • 4 tbsp olive oil for rubbing and drizzling
  • 3 garlic bulbs (2 cut in half through the middles) and one divided into cloves
  • 1 handful of Greek feta or soft goats cheese
  • 1 – 2 lemons quartered, to serve

Herby Dressing

  • 1 large handful each of basil, flat-leaf parsley and mint
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed
  • 2-3 anchovy fillets, drained
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 125ml olive oil, plus more – if needed

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Heat oven to 140°C.

Place the onion quarters in the middle of a roasting tray with one rosemary bunch on top.

Pour about 1 tbsp olive oil into your hands and rub this over the lamb leg.

Make 12 incisions (about 2.5 cm deep and 2 cm wide) in the lamb leg and insert 1 garlic clove into each slit (you may need to cut some in half to get them in). Stuff 1-2 rosemary stems in each slit after folding them in half or quarters, so they don’t poke out too much.

Season the lamb generously, place on top of the onions and rosemary, in the roasting tray and pour over a drizzle of oil (about 2 tbsp).

Cover loosely with tinfoil, tucking it loosely around the inside of the tray and place in the oven for 8 hours. Check occasionally, I normally check it after about 4 hours, adding a little white wine or splash of water if looking slightly dry.

When cooked, remove from oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before shredding it whilst you make the dressing.

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For the dressing, simply add all ingredients to a blender (hand or food processor) and blend until you have a paste. Add more oil if it looks a bit thick. You want it ‘looser’ than a pesto so it can be easily drizzled over the meat. Crumble your feta so it’s ready to scatter on the lamb.

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Shred the lamb (I use 2 large forks), it should fall easily off the bone and have a beautiful, silky texture. Serve on a large plate, drizzle with the dressing, scatter over feta and place lemon wedges on the side.


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11 Comments Add yours

  1. This would make a great dish at a BBQ!

  2. This looks wonderful!

  3. platefodder says:

    This is just a thing of beauty! I adore lamb and been looking for a different way of putting it all together… I think this is the next incarnation for us. I’m earmarking this for Labor Day along with the flatbread recipe! Thanks for the inspiration!.

  4. Your food photography is terrific! Great images

  5. Love it. Looks great and I know that would taste good in my belly! Smiley face

  6. katiebonken says:

    Thanks for all the comments! It is seriously the kind of dish everybody loves (unless you are veggie or crazy), especially as you get to ‘pick and mix’ to you’re own particular tastes….a great late lunch for sharing! Or gobbling up, just the two of you….as we have before.

  7. Stephen Bonken says:

    Just making this now, will let you know how it goes!!!

    1. katiebonken says:

      Let me know Steve…..what are you making it with and what are you drinking? X

  8. Kate says:

    I cooked this dish on Saturday for us and my visiting son & girlfriend. We all loved it, and it was so easy and flexible with a young baby to accommodate !

    1. katiebonken says:

      Great to hear you enjoyed the recipe, we have this every now and then and its such a lovely, satisfying dish and super for a group. Try the yoghurt flatbreads with the lamb, works really well. Thanks for your comment.

  9. Edie Olson says:

    Thank you for the like! How beautiful is this food you prepared?!!!! Oh my. The recipe sounds perfect for an end of summer get together… I just made that up so I’ll have reason to have a party and incorporate this food into my life.

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