Pic of Roast lamb cooked in hay

Roast lamb cooked in hay

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Roast lamb cooked in hay

Main Serves 4 1h 35 min
Roasting in hay gives meat a delightful smokiness: this works well with chicken and venison as well. Add in some sprigs of fresh herbs for an aromatic taste. Potatoes in any form are very good accompaniment to this slow-cooked dish – in particular mash or celeriac and potato gratin.

Cook's notes

Get good clean hay from your local garden centre or pet shop.


  • 1kg lamb roasting joint
  • a few handfuls of hay
  • 125g butter, softened
  • few sprigs rosemary, chopped (use thyme or a mixture of both if you wish, or try lavender)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and pepper to season


Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 1h 15 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Soak the hay in water for about 15 minutes, then drain.
  • Step 2

    In a bowl mix the butter, chopped herbs and garlic.
  • Step 3

    Line a roasting tin large enough to take your meat joint with a layer of hay about 5cm thick. Place your lamb on the hay, then smear the lamb all over with the butter mixture. Season.
  • Step 4

    Cover the lamb with the rest of the hay. Then either cover with a lid if you have one for the tin or make one with a double layer of foil. Seal the foil all around the tin. Make sure there are no loose bits of hay emerging from the tin - it all needs to be contained so it does not smoulder or catch fire when cooking.
  • Step 5

    Roast in the oven for 30 minutes per 500g for a medium cooked roast (adjust for slightly pinker lamb if preferred). Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Take off the lid, remove the lamb and carve. Use the juices from the pan for the gravy.

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