Lemon-brined lamb with mint salad

Adam Liaw
Lemon-brined lamb with mint salad.
Lemon-brined lamb with mint salad. Photo: William Meppem

A good brine will make a roast juicy and flavourful. But don't brine in a reactive metal bowl; a press-seal bag is ideal.


• 1 leg of lamb, around 2kg

• 3 onions, thickly sliced

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• salt, to season

• lemon wedges, to serve

Lemon brine

• 1 onion

• 10 cloves garlic

• 1 tbsp salt

• 1 tbsp sugar

• 1 tsp fennel seeds

• 1 lemon, quartered, peel and all

• 3 bay leaves

• 5 sprigs rosemary

Mint salad

• 2 cups loosely packed mint leaves

• 3 cups rocket leaves

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 1 tbsp lemon juice

• freshly ground black pepper, to taste, plus extra for the lamb


For the lemon brine, combine the onion, garlic, salt, sugar, fennel seeds, lemon and bay leaves in a blender with 2 cups of water and blend to a smooth liquid. Place the lamb into a press-seal bag with the rosemary sprigs and pour the liquid on top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Heat your oven to 190°C (170°C fan-forced). Place a piece of baking paper in the bottom of a roasting tray, put the sliced onions on top, then remove the lamb from the brine and place it on top of the onions. Pour about ½ a cup of the brine into the tray. Drizzle the lamb with olive oil and roast for 1½ hours. Remove the lamb from the oven and set aside to rest for 15 minutes. Season with salt and grind over plenty of black pepper.

For the salad, combine the mint and rocket in a bowl and toss in the olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and add black pepper to taste. Serve the lamb in its roasting juices with lemon wedges and the mint salad on the side.