Buttermilk Rosemary Leg of Lamb

An overnight brine in buttermilk keeps the lamb from drying out as it cooks over high heat and yields juicy, succulent meat every single time
Buttermilk Rosemary Leg of Lamb
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Buttermilk Rosemary Leg of Lamb
September 02, 2019
Level Intermediate
Preparation Time 10 minutes (plus marination time)
Cooking Time 2-2½ hours
Serves 10-12
PHOTO BY Katelyn Allegra
RECIPE BY Katelyn Allegra
FOOD STYLING BY Katelyn Allegra & Cassandra Upton


50g spinneysFOOD Sea Salt
600ml spinneysFOOD Bottled Drinking Water
1.2L buttermilk
Lemon juice, to taste
1.5kg leg of lamb, bone-in
2 garlic cloves, sliced
6 sprigs spinneysFOOD Fresh Rosemary
1 tbsp spinneysFOOD Sea Salt Flakes
spinneysFOOD Whole Black Pepper, freshly ground, to taste


  • 1

    For the buttermilk brine, place the salt and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt dissolves.

  • 2

    Cool, then stir in the buttermilk and lemon juice. Pour into a large container and refrigerate to chill (20-30 minutes).

  • 3

    Pierce the lamb with a small, sharp knife and insert a piece of garlic and rosemary into each hole.

  • 4

    Add the lamb leg to the buttermilk brine and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally.

  • 5

    Remove the lamb from the brine (discard the brine), then refrigerate the lamb overnight, uncovered, to dry out.

  • 6

    For the barbecue, burn wood down to embers.

  • 7

    Gently grill the lamb on a rack over medium coals, turning often, topping up embers as necessary and ensuring the lamb’s surface temperature doesn’t exceed 105°C, until the meat is well browned.

  • 8

    Remove the lamb from the barbecue, keep it well wrapped, and rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

  • 9

    Reserve the juices when you unwrap the parcel and serve them spooned over the lamb.

  • 10

    Slice the lamb before serving.


TOP TIP: More tender cuts of meat – like whole beef tenderloin or leg of lamb – are best roasted until they are medium-rare, otherwise they can dry out.


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