Slow-roast lamb with cinnamon, fennel & citrus

Slow-roast lamb with cinnamon, fennel & citrus

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(35 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 4 hrs, 20 mins Plus overnight marinating plus resting


Serves 6

For lamb that will melt in your mouth and surprise your palate, follow Sarah Cook's easy recipe

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal514
  • fat32g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs8g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre0g
  • protein50g
  • salt0.29g


  • 1 leg of lamb



    A lamb is a sheep that is under 1 year old; between 1 and 2 years old you will find it sold as…

  • zest and juice 1 lemon and 1 orange



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp each of cinnamon, fennel seeds, ground cumin



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed


  1. Put the lamb into a large food bag with all the juice and marinate overnight.

  2. The next day, take the lamb out of the fridge 1 hr before you want to cook it. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Take the lamb out of the marinade (reserve remaining marinade) and pat dry. Rub with half the oil and roast for 15-20 mins until browned. Remove lamb and reduce oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

  3. Mix the zests, remaining oil, honey, spices and garlic with plenty of seasoning. Lay a large sheet of baking parchment on a large sheet of foil. Sit the lamb leg on top, rub all over with the paste and pull up the sides of the foil. Drizzle marinade into base, and scrunch foil to seal.

  4. Roast for 4 hrs, until very tender. Rest, still wrapped, for 30 mins. Unwrap and serve with juices.

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Comments, questions and tips

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kipkh15's picture
18th Nov, 2019
The lamb was deliciously moist however we found the amount of cinnamon overpowering, and masking the flavour of everything else. In the future probably i will reduce it to 1/2 tsp.
9th Jan, 2019
Tastes amazing, I covered it with foil and cooked it until it reached 100°c which a friend said it should get to for pulled lamb and it worked perfectly.
2nd Jun, 2016
Made this for the second time today - delicious. Won't be the last - definitely my new favourite way of doing a leg of lamb! And this time I had all the correct ingredients!
27th Mar, 2016
By far the nicest leg of lamb I've ever cooked. Succulent, moist and full of flavour. When it came time to make it I realised I only had cumin seeds and no fennel seeds (bad planning!) but I used a few cumin seeds and ground up a Star Anise in place of the fennell. Will definitely be making this again.
20th Mar, 2016
Disappointed. Tasted just very orangey, which to me doesn't work with lamb. I would perhaps use the combo of honey, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cumin rub but maybe with pomegranate syrup as somebody else mentioned and omit the juice and peel. I will say the texture was good slow roasting it.
11th Jan, 2016
Delicious & so easy to make. Will be making this again & again! Can't recommend enough.
19th Oct, 2015
Don't understand why people are getting in a tizz about the marinade - point 1 says it all!
4th Nov, 2014
Absolutely wonderful. I made the paste up the night before so that I could juice and zest the citrus at the same time. Prep on the Sunday was therefore minimal but the results were perfect! Will definitely be making this again.
19th Oct, 2014
I have made this numerous times and it is always a hit with our guests. The last time I made it I added a couple of sliced fennel bulbs in the foil as I was roasting. I also add the juice of an extra orange when marinating. Also when roasting I add a little white wine which helps to keep it so moist. I serve with the crunchy potatoes with dill & onions and herb salad with pomegranate & pistachios as suggested. Re question about marinating - put the lamb in a food bag with the juices of the lemon and oranges and marinate overnight.
15th Aug, 2014
Can anyone help - what potatoes & salad was originally suggested? There is no longer any other recipes linked with this one?


5th Jan, 2018
If I use a 1.5 kg leg of lamb without bone, should I reduce the cooking time?
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Jan, 2018
Thanks for your question. It's fine to keep the cooking times as is.
Alison P.
14th Jul, 2015
For Jane Hornby's spiced roast lamb recipe, could it also be slow roasted? Thank you, Alison
6th Apr, 2015
Are you sure it's 160 degrees Celsius and not Fahrenheit? 5 minutes ago I opened the foil after four hours and what was left of the lamb was a piece of coal :(
goodfoodteam's picture
24th Apr, 2015
Hi there thanks for getting in touch and sorry to hear you did not have success with this recipe. The temperature and timings are correct however the size of lamb leg may vary so it’s best to check during cooking – perhaps after 2.5 hours, then 3 hours. It's also a good idea to regularly check your oven temperature with a separate oven thermometer just in case it's running slightly higher than it should be. Hope you will be tempted to try this recipe again. 
29th Jun, 2014
What potatoes should I serve with the slow roast lamb with cinnamon, fennel and citrus? I understand it is suggested a pomegranate salad is also served - is there a recipe.
goodfoodteam's picture
7th Jul, 2014
Try this recipe for pomegranate salad: if you wanted to serve with potatoes instead then these would go well: Thanks.
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