Sticky plum roast lamb recipe

(96 ratings)

Sticky plum roast lamb comes out perfectly tender and makes an extra special Sunday roast alternative. It's slow cooked, but so worth the wait!

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  • healthy
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time4 hours 45 mins
Cost RangeNot
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories449 Kcal22%
Fat20 g29%
Saturated Fat9 g45%

Sticky plum roast lamb comes out perfectly tender and makes an extra special Sunday roast alternative. You need to get started on this recipe early on in the day as it is slow cooked, but it's definitely worth the wait! You can find plums in the supermarkets year-round, but you can also give this recipe a go with plums from the garden (if you're lucky enough to have a plum tree) when they're in season. This is a fantasic twist on roast lamb that you'll want to make again - and everyone will be asking for the recipe!


  • 2 large onions, thickly sliced
  • 1 lamb leg (around 2.5kg)
  • 6-8 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • few sprigs thyme
  • ¾ tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 10 plums
  • 50ml rice wine vinegar
  • 50g light muscovado sugar
  • lime wedges, to serve




  1. Heat the oven to 200C, gas 6. Put the onions in a roasting tin and set the lamb on top. Roast for 20 mins.
  2. Remove the tin from the oven and turn the heat down to 130C, gas ½. Add the garlic, thyme, fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, plums and 300ml water. Cover tightly with tin foil and roast for 4 hrs 45 mins or until meltingly tender.
  3. Remove the lamb from the tin and leave to rest for 15 mins. Meanwhile, pour the pan juices into a saucepan along with 4tbsp of the plum mix from the roasting tin. Skim off the oil and add the vinegar and sugar – add a little water if you need to.
  4. Bubble for a few mins to break up the plums and make a thick sauce (remove any plum stones). Add a squeeze of lime and lots of black pepper. Serve with sticky rice.

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