Marinated Leg of Lamb with Red Onion Jam

Juicy char-grilled lamb, tangy red onions and colourful Mediterranean vegetables make a great meal in this recipe by Curtis Stone
By Curtis Stone
Marinated Leg of Lamb with Red Onion Jam
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes plus 8 hrs marinating
  • Effort: medium



  • 1.5 kg leg of lamb, boned and cut into three
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprig thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 150 ml olive oil
  • 2 fresh bay leaves

For the red onion jam:

  • 200 g butter
  • 5 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 125 ml red wine
  • 125 ml sherry vinegar
  • 4 tbsp port

For the couscous:

  • 250 ml hot chicken stock
  • 250 g couscous
  • 75 g pine kernels
  • 3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • black pepper

For the chargrilled vegetables:

  • 2 large red peppers, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • 2 large courgettes, thinly sliced
  • 1 large aubergine
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • freshly ground black pepper


1. For the red onion jam. heat a large saucepan until hot and add the butter. Tip in the onions and sugar and stir until well coated in the butter.

2. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the onions for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and just beginning to caramelise.

3. Pour in the red wine, vinegar and port. Simmer for 10 minutes until the onions are completely soft. Remove from the heat. Strain away most of the juices and return to the pan. Allow to cool completely.

4. For the lamb place the three pieces of meat in a large shallow dish. Cut small pockets in the lamb with the tip of a knife.

5. Twist the rosemary and thyme sprigs in your hands to bruise them slightly. Insert small pieces of the herbs, the garlic and the chillies into the meat pockets. Pour over the olive oil.

6. Tuck in the bay leaves and cover the lamb with the cling film. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

7. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

8. Heat a ridged stove-top grill pan until hot and smoking. Sear the lamb, skin side down, for 5 minutes. Turn and cook the other side for a further 2 minutes.

9. Put the lamb in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

10. For the couscous, tip the couscous into the hot chicken stock and stir well. Pour into a bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to stand for 5 minutes.

11. Meanwhile, tip most of the fat from the grill pan and return the pan to the heat. Brush the vegetables with olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper. Char-grill in batches for 2 minutes on each side.

11. Fluff the couscous with a fork, stir in the pine nuts and parsley, and season to taste.

12. Remove the lamb from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

13. Warm through the red onion jam.

14. Arrange the vegetables on individual serving plates. Pile a small heap of couscous in the centre. Thinly slice the meat and arrange over the top. Serve with a spoonful of red onion jam and drizzle over any meaty juices.

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