Thought Leadership on Lemon Leg of Lamb

Many people that I meet in business are offended by what they believe to be the overuse of business jargon. But, I have a different game plan. So, let’s open the kimono and deep dive into this really tasty dish, I’ll circle back with the ingredients and I will prove that Lemon Leg of Lamb really can deliver bang for your buck. I’m often asked how I come up with the ideas for my recipes. It’s really easy. I do a bit of blue sky thinking and then have a thought shower (outside the box, of course), punch the puppy a few times and by the close of play, I have run a few ideas up the flagpole. It’s that simple. 

I have had a number of ideas, away from which I have pivoted. But, when this happens, I get on all fours and sweep the sheds, get back on the horse so I can become a change agent just ahead of boiling the ocean. However, in this case, I saw a leg of lamb at an attractive price and saw some organic lemons also at bargain basement pricing (Does that qualify as low hanging fruit?). This led to me to make hay while the sun shone and create this Lemon Leg of Lamb.

The ingredients list is jargon free and not at all resource intensive.


  • 1 leg of Irish lamb
  • 6 cloves of good garlic
  • 2 organic (or not) lemons
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 big bunch of thyme
  • Quarter litre (half pint) of good chicken stock

I decided that I should give this 110%. I peeled the garlic and, made a paradigm shift to the press and got out the pestle and mortar. I crushed it (I really crushed it) with the salt and pepper until I had a fine paste.

Shaking the salt instead of shaking the tree. It worked for me.

I was going to stop when it was granular but continued. I pulled the trigger and sliced the lemons before sharpening the knife and cutting some slashes into the lamb.

This is the bleeding edge of the preparation. I love the pattern, if not the patter.

Now, this is where the rubber of flavour hits the road of ingredients. I covered the lamb in the paste, rubbing it into the crevices. I actioned pouring the honey on top too.

I should have held the honey higher so it could deep dive into the dish.

Then came the value add, I stuck the lemon slices on to the paste. I sat the lamb on a bed of thyme. Then I moved the needle in the oven to 200ºC (400ºF) and put the leg in for an hour and a quarter. I left the meat to rest under foil for 20 minutes afterwards.

The lemons are mission critical to the flavour fo the lamb and the sauce.

That gave me time to take a helicopter view of the meal ahead. I cooked some herbed and seasoned potatoes to go with the dish. It laddered up to a great meal.

The lemon slices will have suffered a paradigm shift while cooking. Don’t worry about them.

The baking tray should be full of delicious sauce. Add about a quarter litre of good chicken stock and stir over a medium heat until it reduces to a nice sauce. Strain it and serve. Then we will be singing from the same recipe sheet.

Yep, this is the secret sauce of this recipe.

Going forward, this is a game changer for anybody not wanting to peel the onion (No onions in the recipe). I am delighted to have put it on your radar and hopefully, you will give me some comments below and not get into a negative feedback loop. So, put this on your radar, try this unique recipe. It’s a game changer.  Do circle back with your comments.


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  • Conor, think you have knocked the ball out of the park with this one. Slam dunk. Life gave you lemons, and you made lemonade. Will try it on a frozen NZ leg soon. Toodle pip!

  • Hi Piuet47. I live in Spain for half the year & some years ago before I became brave enough to venture into a carniceria I bought a frozen leg of New Zealand lamb. Big mistake!. It was terrible. Never again. Wherever you are, buy fresh locally produced lamb.The only problem in Spain is that they kill the lamb very young here so a leg of lamb is much smaller than at home. Although the lamb here is very tender the flavour is not quite as good as the best of Irish lamb. i’m looking forward to trying Conor’s Lemon Leg of Lamb & will report back. BTW for Irish expats living in Spain, don’t buy your morcilla (black pudding) & chorizo from the supermarket. Instead buy it from your local butcher (provided he makes it himself). You will find that it is vastly superiior to the supermarket stuff.

  • this one took my breath away! amazing, love the honey shot… I shiver to think of the mess I would make if I attempted to make that shot

  • Thanks for the feedback Jim. We live in SW France (as Conor knows) and the fresh lamb here is always too small and a silly price. We have had the frozen NZ legs from local Intermarché several times and they are very good as long as you check the dates carefully. We’re off to Denia for a few winter weeks next week so if that’s where you are, Costa Blanca, we’ll drop in for a lamb dinner.

  • Thanks for putting it out there.

  • Hi Piquet47. Lucky you to be able to get good frozen NZ lamb. Our local supermercado (Supersol) had fresh Irish lamb chump for several years & when it was in stock the word quickly spread among the Irish community & it was gone in a few days. None this year & when I spoke to the manager he told me that the quantities which they had to buy made it unviable for them to continue stocking it. We are down in Nerja (near Malaga) so I’m afraid a bit too far from Denia to be feasible for you to drop in for a bite to eat. BTW our local butcher has the best sirloin steak that I have ever eaten & that includes Irish beef. It comes from Galicia which is nearer to you in SW France than it is to us in Andalucia. Jim

  • If that lamb were hoisted up a flagpole, I’d certainly salute it! I love lamb with lemon and garlic! Also noticed that lovely antique bone holder you bought a while back — it certainly adds some pizzazz! 🙂

  • Ye gods, you certainly larded that narrative with all the adspeak you could dredge up from a long and illustrious career. If it was anyone but you, I’d have hit the Unfollow button, but it was worth picking my way through the minefield to get to the meat of the issue. I think I’ll be trying this with a nice leg of Strayan spring lamb one of these fine days…

  • Am not particularly bright in the morning hours but the moment I read about opening the kimono I knew we were not reading quite your ‘ordinary post’. Do hope you had fun !!! . And we are passing the test . . . Kate has said the rest . . . yes, for some odd reason, shall follow her also with another ‘Strayan’ leg . . . I guess because it may turn out tasty . . .

    Off topic: Don’t have time to watch ‘story TV’ but accidentally discovered ‘Garda Down Under’ – a current half-hour before my nightly news. Seems a number of the Oirish police officers have departed for warmer climes in Western Australia and are finding quite some matters different to the Dublin streets . . . love the accent naturally . . .

  • Beautiful. Simple and perfect. My mother used to poke the lamb with a knife and push the garlic cloves in. I do the same on the rare occasion I get to cook a leg of lamb. Love your use of honey and lemons. Brilliant, young man!

  • This is full of synergistic energy. But I wouldn’t expect anything less! Now I have to find a leg of lamb….

      • It’s ridiculous what they come up for silly business speak. Our kids’ school has to change (yet again) how they teach so they did a video to explain to parents what was happening. It was all speak like this and absolutely no substance. We were left as clueless as we started.

  • As there are only the two of us we rarely have roast lamb (or beef) nowadays but I couldn’t resist trying the lemon leg of lamb. So I went to my local carniceria yesterday & bought a pierna de cordero. At 1.4 Kgs it was a bit bigger than the usual leg of Spanish lamb so after he had removed the end of the bone I got the butcher to cut it in two.I halved the quantities in Conor’s list of ingredients & this evening picked the first (organic) lemon of the season from our gin & tonic tree. The resident restaurant critic was somewhat sceptical about the thyme, lemon & honey, her lamb with rosemary being a firm family favourite for decades. Wow … was she surprised & delighted. She raved about the flavours & gave it five stars, praise indeed from someone who is not easily impressed. Well done Conor, I think you learned more than your prayers from the Holy Ghost fathers (Blackrock?).

  • Conor, I arrived as a boarder at the ‘Rock in 1957, green behind the gills. Can honestly say that I enjoyed my stint there, Very cosmopolitan for a young lad from West Clare. Must say the corporal punishment there wasn’t excessive, probably much less than in the CBs. It was the norm everywhere in those days & in moderation did no lasting harm. It was the occasional sadist who did the real damage but thankfully I never came across one. I didn’t know until a lot later that a cousin of mine had been President there many years earlier. If I had I would have got a lot of mileage out of it. Best wishes from Spain.

  • So this morning I went to the freezer & took out the other half of the ‘pierna de cordero’ (starting sentences with ‘so’ shows the bad influence that my children & grandchildren are having on me). This time the Resident Restaurant Critic suggested that I try it with rosemary instead of thyme. (Hope that isn’t heresy Conor, she has a great affinity to that herb as she says it was named after her). The lemon tree which I planted three years ago with gin & tonics in mind provided the organic lemon. Some locally grown carrots were full of flavour & the (French) César potatoes were quite tasty (not a variety that we know in Ireland). All washed down by a very decent bottle of Ribera del Duero (€7.30 in the local wine shop, the price of wine at home makes me weep). The upshot was again five stars from the Resident Restaurant Critic, praise indeed!. Looking forward to trying this recipe with a leg of Burren lamb when we are back home in May. Thanks again for a great recipe Conor.

  • I am in awe, Sir. This is straight on my list for short order rollout. Also a masterpiece of language mangleation. You are a wizard, I say.

  • Would have never thought of honey and lemon…will definitely be trying this recipe soon.

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