3 ratings

Sweet Spiced and Stuffed Roast Leg of Lamb with Red Wine Pan Gravy

A holiday dinner seasoned to perfection
Sweet spiced and stuffed roast leg of lamb with red wine pan gravy
Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling

A treasure trove of spices including cumin, cinnamon, allspice and cloves, are used to flavor this holiday season deboned leg of lamb. 

This recipe by JeanMarie Brownson appeared in the Chicago Tribune.

Ready in
2 h 30 m
30 m
(prepare time)
2 h
(cook time)


For the sweet spiced and stuffed roast leg of lamb, red wine pan gravy

  • 5 pieces of kitchen twine, each 30 inches long (to tie the roast)
  • 1 boneless butterflied leg of lamb, about 7 pounds
  • Salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small bunch green onions, very finely chopped, 1 cup
  • 1/3 Cup currants or dark raisins
  • 1/3 Cup finely chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 to 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tablespoons sweet spice blend, see recipe below
  • 3 Cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup dry red wine
  • 1 Cup rich beef stock or veal stock or low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons flour dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish

For the sweet spice blend

  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon ground coirander
  • 3/4 Teaspoons each ground allspice
  • 3/4 Teaspoons Clove
  • 3/4 Teaspoons Ginger
  • 3/4 Teaspoons Nutmeg


For the sweet spiced and stuffed roast leg of lamb, red wine pan gravy

Lay lamb out flat on a baking sheet; sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate, loosely covered, up to 2 days.

For the filling, mix onions, currants, apricots, parsley, cilantro, 1 tablespoon sweet spice mix and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

Put lamb fat side down on a work surface.

Spread the filling evenly over the meat.

Top with spinach.

Roll the lamb up, in roughly the shape it was with the bone; tie it in several places with the twine to make a compact shape that will cook evenly. (There’s no need to tie it super tight — just enough to make an evenly shaped roast.)

Lightly oil a large roasting pan.

Place the lamb in the pan, bottom side up.

Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sweet spice blend.

Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Flip the roast so it is fat side up.

Drizzle with another tablespoon olive oil, remaining 1 tablespoon spice blend and more salt and pepper.

Lamb can be prepared up to several hours ahead of roasting. Refrigerate loosely covered.

When ready to roast, let lamb stand at room temperature while the oven heats.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Roast the lamb until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers about 135 degrees for medium-rare, 1 ¾ to 2 hours. (Take temperature after 1 ½ hours and adjust time accordingly so you don’t overcook the lamb.)

Transfer lamb to a cutting board.

Tent with foil and let rest 20 minutes before carving; temperature will rise to 140 degrees.

Meanwhile, for the pan gravy, set roasting pan over a burner set to medium.

Add wine; stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.

Heat to a boil.

Stir in broth; heat to a boil.

Whisk in dissolved flour until smooth.

Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. (Makes: about 2 cups.)

To serve, cut strings from roast.

Slice roast thinly, arranging slices on a platter; salt lightly if desired.

Garnish with cilantro.

Pass the hot gravy.

For the sweet spice blend

Mix 2 tablespoons ground cumin, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander, and 3/4 teaspoon each ground allspice, cloves, ginger and nutmeg in a small bowl.

Keeps covered up to several weeks. 

(Makes: about 1/3 cup)