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Arrosto di agnello

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for arrosto di agnello (roast lamb) by Popolo restaurant in Sydney.

  • 40 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs cooking plus marinating
  • Serves 10
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Arrosto di agnello
This recipe yields a generous, Italian-style serving of roast lamb. You’ll need to begin it a day ahead.


  • 2 boneless lamb shoulders (2.6kg boned weight), cut into 8cm pieces
  • 2 kg large lamb breasts, cut into 2-rib portions
  • ¼ cup (loosely packed) thyme, plus extra to serve
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 5 garlic cloves, bruised
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) rosemary, plus extra to serve
  • 80 ml olive oil (1/3 cup)
  • 2 large white onions (200gm each), thinly sliced
  • 200 gm pancetta, cut into 1cm dice
  • 500 ml dry white wine
  • 6 large Desiree potatoes (1.5kg), cut into 3cm dice


  • 1
    Combine lamb pieces and ribs with thyme, bay leaves, lemon rind, 3 garlic cloves, half the rosemary and half the olive oil, season to taste with pepper and marinate overnight.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180C. Drizzle remaining olive oil into 2 large flameproof roasting pans (or 2 large heavy ovenproof frying pans) and heat over high heat. Drain lamb (discard herbs and marinade) and cook in batches, turning occasionally, until browned (4-6 minutes), then remove from pans and set aside. Reduce heat to low-medium, divide onion, pancetta, remaining garlic and rosemary between the pans and cook until browned (8-10 minutes). Deglaze pans with wine and reduce by half (2-3 minutes), then return lamb to pans with potato and add 250ml water to each pan. Cover pans with foil and roast until meat is tender and falling off bone (2½-3 hours).
  • 3
    Preheat grill to high heat and grill lamb (reserve pan juices) in batches on a foil-lined oven tray, turning occasionally, until browned (3-4 minutes). Set aside to rest. Place potato on another foil-lined oven tray and grill, turning often, until browned (8-10 minutes).
  • 4
    Meanwhile, skim fat from pan juices then strain (discard solids), transfer to a frying pan and cook over high heat until reduced by half (3-5 minutes). Serve roast lamb and potato drizzled with reduced jus and scattered with extra thyme and rosemary.


This recipe is from the March 2013 issue of .
Drink Suggestion: 2007 Basilisco Teodosio Aglianico del Vulture, Basilicata. Drink suggestion by Fabio Dore