As Kiwis, you could say… we’re partial to a bit of lamb. The stereotypical image of rolling New Zealand hills filled with sheep is… well, it’s pretty true actually.
Since Captain Cook brought the first sheep here in 1773, numbers steadily rose until reaching a peak in the 1980s, when there were 70 million sheep - that’s 22 sheep for every one person!
Numbers have dropped over the years and today there are around 30 million, but our long-standing relationship with our woolly friends has made lamb recipes something of a Kiwi speciality. We have picked three of the best lamb recipes from our cookbook for you to enjoy as we head towards the cold winter months ahead! Enjoy!
Olivado Greek-style Lamb
You can always count on the Greeks for a delicious and nourishing meal!
Our Mediterranean cousins eat to live rather than live to eat, and it shows with their amazing dishes. This one takes a bit of prep, but the results are worth it!
- 1.5kg leg of lamb, boneless
- 1 cup Olivado Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
- Juice of a lemon
- 3-4 cups chicken stock
- 3½ cups tomatoes, freshly chopped
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 1 onion, medium minced
- 1 chilli pepper, small minced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 cup cheese, grated
- 1 pack of Kritharaki (the Greek name for rice-shaped pasta, which the Italians also call Rosamarina or Manesta - you can use other kinds of pasta)
- sea salt
- pepper, freshly ground
Preheat oven to 250ºC. Rub the lamb with the lemon juice, salt and the freshly ground pepper. Cut three of the peeled garlic cloves in half lengthwise and insert the garlic halves into slits cut into the lamb.
Place the lamb in a deep baking dish and brush with avocado oil. Roast for 10-to-15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 180ºC and continue roasting for a further 30-to-40 minutes, or until almost done, basting frequently with the pan juices (if there isn't enough juice use some of the chicken broth or more avocado oil.
Heat remaining avocado oil in a skillet and sauté the onion over low heat until soft. Peel and mince the remaining garlic and add to the onion. When soft, add the chilli pepper, chopped tomatoes, sugar, sea salt and cinnamon sticks. Cook for 5 minutes.
Remove the lamb from the oven, cut into small pieces and cover to keep warm.
Pour the boiling tomato sauce into a baking dish with the juices of the cooked lamb and stir well. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and the Kritharaki and continue stirring. Return to the oven and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking to the dish. The Kritharaki should be cooked al dente and will have absorbed most of the pan juices.
When the pasta is almost cooked, remove the cinnamon sticks and place the lamb on top of the kritharaki. Baste with the remaining juices and continue roasting until the kritharaki is cooked to taste.
Serve hot, sprinkled with the cheese.
Family Roast Lamb and Avocado Oil
There’s nothing quite like a traditional Sunday roast, and this recipe will satisfy the whole family. It’s also a great opportunity to use our gorgeous extra-virgin avocado oil with lemon zest.
- 1kg shoulder or leg of lamb
- ½ cup Olivado Extra Virgin Avocado Oil or Olivado Gold Lemon-infused and leave out the zest of a lemon
- zest of a lemon
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
Mix oil, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, rosemary, mustard and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Place roast in the pan, coat roast with mixture and place into a pre-heated oven at 230°C for 20 minutes, then turn down to 200°C and cook for further 160 minutes. Serve with roast potatoes and greens drizzled with Avocado Oil.
Sticky Slow Roast Lamb
Another roast lamb recipe, but this one is slightly more colourful. By the end, the lamb is so tender, it will fall apart with very little effort on your behalf. Just use a couple of forks to shred it, and pile on to people’s plates.
- A shoulder of NZ lamb (about 2kg)
- 4-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons Olivado Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or you could use Olivado Avocado Oil infused with Rosemary)
- Salt & Pepper
- 250ml red wine
- 4-5 cloves of garlic (peeled)
- 1 bottle of sweet chilli sauce
- Yams to roast in the casserole dish – for the final 45 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 140°C and prep your lamb. Pop it into the casserole dish and use a sharp knife to cut 7-8 holes in it.
Break each sprig of rosemary in half and poke into the holes. Drizzle the whole lamb with olive oil, coating the top, then sprinkle liberally with rock salt and fresh ground pepper.
Pour a glass of wine into the bottom, throw the garlic cloves in, put the lid on and place into the centre of your oven.
Leave it alone for 3 hours. Take it out of the oven, remove the lid. Pull out the rosemary and pour your sweet chilli sauce over the whole shoulder of lamb.
Take care to cover as much as you can. Leave the lid off and place back into the oven.
Now, roast it for an hour and a half. Check on it, if it still needs a little crisping up leave it in for another 30 minutes. This time can be used to prep and roast your side of yams.
When you’re convinced it’s done, take the lamb out and gently transfer onto a plate to rest. Skim the fat off the top of the juices left in the pan. With most of the fat gone, pour some of the red wine sauce left into a jug. Let it sit for a minute, then pour off any last fat that comes to the surface.
Pop what’s left on the table, for people to drizzle over their shredded lamb. It’s much richer than gravy so go easy!
Serve with the candied yams, or brussels sprouts and steamed greens and mashed spuds for a fabulous main meal.
Add flavour to your meals with our range of healthy oils
We only use the very best when it comes to ingredients for our oils, sourced organically and under fair-trade conditions.
Even the process we use was invented by us (and is now industry standard) to make sure all the goodness survives the journey from fruit to bottle.