My Prodigal Son – Roast Leg of Wicklow Lamb Studded With Garlic and Rosemary

Yes, I do have a son. This my come as a surprise to some of you. It would be a surprise for the Wife if I had not come clean on the matter with her. Before I get into that, I’ll bet you know the parable of the prodigal son. I’ll also bet you that you have never referred to somebody as being “prodigal”. You have never rolled down the car window and shouted; “Ohi, You. You Prodigal. Move that heap.” Or perhaps, you ladies, behind a gloved hand, over a double frappachino laté, whispered to a friend; “She is sooooo prodigal. I don’t know how her parents put up with her.” Admit it to yourself. You probably don’t even know the exact meaning of the word.

Here’s the top three as an adjective:

  1. Extravagantly wasteful
  2. Producing generous amounts
  3. Wasting parental money
    Look up the nouns and adverbs yourself if you are really interested.

Now, back to my son. He is only prodigal in the proverbial sense in that he went away and returned home. Literally, from the proverb. He has to remain nameless because he has birth parents. I am not one of them (or the other one). This all came about when I was involved in a heated debate with my daughters and some of their friends about youngest daughter refusing to befriend me on Facebook (a common parental condition by all accounts). My soon to be son pointed out that his dad was not even on Facebook and he then volunteered to be my Internet Son taking the place of Offline Daughter in the online world. Anybody looking at my Facebook profile can see him there. I am a proud Dad.

Life goes on and our offline paths have not crossed for a while. That was until he heard I was cooking Roast Leg of Wicklow Lamb Studded With Garlic and Rosemary, served with a Red Wine Gravy, Parsnips, Carrots and New Season Potatoes.

 Here’s what you will need

  • A leg of Wicklow lamb
  • Plenty of garlic
  • Plenty of rosemary
  • Plenty of potatoes (he’s a growing lad)
  • Carrots and parsnips
  • Seasoning and oil
  • Flour to make the gravy

    The ingredients. Well, most of them anyway. I neglected the salt, flour, pepper and oil. Dammit.

Here’s what to do
Heat the oven to 200C. Peel and slice your garlic into halves or thirds.

Time to get stabby. You have to get very stabby. Stab it all over.

Stab the lamb and insert the garlic. Yes, there will be lots of stabbing required. Repeat the process with the rosemary.

Stabbed and studded with garlic and rosemary. It takes time but it’s worth it.

Oil, season and roast in the oven until cooked.

This is the gratuitous meat shot of this post. Not really needed to make any point. It was this or the potatoes….

Some people like their lamb rare. Some like it completely overdone and destroyed. I cooked mine for an hour and three-quarters.

Roasted, ready to carve. Note the garlic starting to escape. Sorry there are no action carving shots but the hungry hoard had me under pressure.

While the lamb is resting, add a level tablespoon of flour to the roasting tin and stir until there is a congealed dark brown mess. Gradually add some water and heat on the hob. Throw in a glass of wine. Stir, taste, season, stir taste, season, stir, taste, until you are happy with the flavour and consistency.

At this stage of your personal development, you should know how to boil potatoes and oven roast some carrots and parsnips. If you don’t, close down your computer and order in a takeaway, it’s all you are fit for. If you are still here, carve, plate, serve, eat.

Lamb plated and ready to serve. Going cold in fact. Note the studded garlic stuck in the slices. Delicious but don’t go kissing anybody who wasn’t there for the meal.

The day of his arrival was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was cooking the meal so my son returned and he was returning, so I cooked the meal. It was good to see him again. My two birth/wallet children enjoyed the meal too.


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Latest comments
  • Wonderful meal!

  • Great post as always; the lamb looks delicious and I learned more meanings of the word prodigal 🙂
    Thanks so much for the Liebster nomination!

  • Sweet, merciful lord – that meal looks AMAZING. I mean, doctorate-level cooking. Wow.

    Such a shame that I will now never be able to roast lamb again for fear of my own illegitimate, not-by-birth children emerging from the murky shadows of my past.

    That said, you never fail to humble me with your skills, sophistication and delectable presentation. Truly world class, my friend.

    • I could not have put it better myself (He said modestly.).

  • I’m a little confused… Anyway, this looks great. Lamb is by far my favourite meat and leg is in my top 5 favourite cute, though probably behind shoulder and neck. I’d be all over this, for sure.

    • I get totally confused trying to cook for them. I was out for a tasting evening a couple of weeks ago. The star of the show was 14 hour braised lamb shoulder. It was epic. I fully intend trying to do something like it, if I ever get the time…

  • My oldest used to be friends with me on Facebook. Then he hit 11 and switched me off.

    • My youngest turned 20 last week. I am still persona non grata. She is friends with my 82 year old Mum though.

  • Mountain of meat with Christmas trees growing from it. May not sound pretty or seasonal but you can’t get more seasonal or delicious than spring lamb with Rosmary sprigs. Blog photo of the month! Nice one…

  • Conor – I meant to ask you earlier, what software are you using to add your watermark to your photos? I think I should get one, but not sure how to determine if they are any good. Loads of them come up when I run a Google search, but that obviously doesn’t make them any good. I appreciate your insight.


    • Hi Steph,
      Adobe Lightroom. It is a fantastic programme with far more ability than I have. I highly recommend it, not that anybody will be stealing and living off my images!

      • Yours more than mine – LOL! Thanks for the tip. I was thinking of getting that anyway. I need a better editor. I am just really starting to figure this all out. Blogging is turning into a full-time gig 🙂

  • Looks amazing! Funny — I am about to post a blog on lamb too! Lamb with a Pinot Noir sauce!

  • Wow! That lamb looks amazing! Congrats on your award!

  • That lamb looks incredible! I desperately need some photography lessons for my own blog – somehow my meals always end up looking much worse on-screen than in real life.

    • That is better than the reverse, which is often true of the over photographed cold food, eaten alone because the rest of the family couldn’t or wouldn’t wait.

  • I thought prodigal meant wandering….I guess I was partly correct. Nice lamb.

  • Looks fantastic – I so like the idea of stuffing it with rosemary. I’m going to try that on my roast beef. Thanks for stopping by my blog. <3

  • Love your recipes, your witty humor, your writing. I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. ( Thanks for brightening my day! <3

  • Conor…..this looks like the perfect cool weather meal this weekend!

  • Thank you for sharing this recipe, it’s going on the to-do list! Yummmm!

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