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Marinade for a leg of lamb

Diana Henry / 21 July 2015

This marinade flavoured with yoghurt, tomatoes and red wine works well with a roasted leg of lamb or with barbecued lamb.

Roast marinated lamb
This marinade works well with roasted or barbecued lamb

Marinating time

24 hours

Cooking time

1 1/4 hours




  • 1 x 1.8kg (4lb) leg of lamb
  • 200g (7oz) plain yoghurt
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) tomato purée
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) red wine
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves, crushed
  • 5ml (1 tsp) caster sugar
  • 5ml (1 tsp) salt
  • 2.5ml (1⁄2 tsp) black pepper
  • 5ml (1 tsp) cayenne


Remove the skin and fat from the lamb, exposing as much flesh as possible.

Make incisions all over the leg with a small sharp knife. Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour over the lamb, rubbing it into the incisions. Leave the lamb to marinate, covered somewhere cool, for 24 hours if you can, and for at least an hour if you can’t.

To cook: Drain the lamb from its marinade but don’t wipe it clean.

Roast it for 1¼ hours at 190°c (375°f) Gas mark 5 (this will give you pink lamb), then cover it with foil and insulate it (I keep a pile of old towels for this) to keep it warm.

Leave it for 15 minutes to let the juices set.

Extracted from Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons: Enchanting dishes from the Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa by Diana Henry, published by Mitchell Beazley, £20,


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.