Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's roast lamb recipe

(338 ratings)

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's roast lamb is rolled around an apricot stuffing, then slow cooked for delicious meat that melts in your mouth!

Preparation Time40 mins
Cooking Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 40 mins (plus resting time)

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's roast lamb recipe uses tender breast meat that is rolled around a lemon and apricot stuffing, then slow cooked for delicious meat that melts in your mouth.

If you're used to having a chicken for Sunday dinner then this is just the recipe to mix things up a little, giving the whole family something new to try. The stuffing keeps the meat moist while it cooks and gives an extra hit of flavour for a really lovely meal. Serve this up with roast fennel and mashed potatoes for a delicious and filling meal.


For this Easter recipe

you will need:

  • 2 breasts of lamb, boned, any skin and surplus fat removed
  • 2-3 fennel bulbs, cut into 6 wedges each
  • 2 large onions, cut into 4 wedges each, or 4 small ones, cut in half
  • 2 lemons (the ones you’ve zested for the stuffing, see below), cut into quarters
  • A little white wine or water (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the stuffing:

  • A knob of butter
  • 3 or 4 small shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 125g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 75g dried apricots, chopped
  • Grated zest of 3 lemons
  • 1tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten




  1. First, make the stuffing. Melt the butter in a small pan, add the shallots and garlic and cook gently until soft but not coloured. Mix the breadcrumbs with the apricots, lemon zest, thyme, shallot mix and plenty of seasoning. Stir in enough egg to bind the mixture lightly.
  2. Lay the breasts of lamb fl at on a board and season well. Divide the stuffing between them and spread it evenly, leaving a little space at the edges and at each end. Roll the breasts up tightly, starting at a pointed end, and tie each one in 3 or 4 places with string.
  3. Place the two lamb rolls side by side in a roasting dish. Put into a preheated oven to 200°C/gas mark 6 and cook for 30 mins.
  4. Remove from the oven and turn the temperature down to 150°C/gas mark 2.
  5. Lift the lamb rolls out on to a board. Scatter the fennel, onions and lemon wedges in the roasting tin, turn in the oily pan juices and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the lamb rolls on top and return to the oven. Cook for about 1½ hours, turning the fennel, onions and lemons occasionally, until both meat and veg are tender. Check from time to time and sprinkle the vegetables with a little white wine or water if they appear a little dry. If everything seems to be browning too quickly, cover the whole dish with foil.
  7. Transfer the lamb to a warm serving plate and leave to rest in a warm place for about 15 mins. Cut the lamb into thick slices and arrange on warm plates with the roasted vegetables and lemons. Spoon over any juices from the roasting tin (they’ll be fatty, but tasty). Serve with rice or couscous.
Top Tip for making Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's roast lamb

Cooking the lamb on top of the onion and lemon means the lamb will roast evenly and you'll get delicious juices

Read our tried and tested reviews of the best slow cookers.