When it comes to impressive centre-pieces at a dinner party, a whole leg of lamb is hard to beat. As a nod to tradition, it is served with a raw cranberry chutney. This not too sweet yet refreshingly fruity accompaniment wonderfully complements the warm and earthy flavours of the lamb. To round out the meal, some simple roasted root vegetables would make a lovely pairing. Carrots, parsnip, celery root and kohlrabi are all great seasonal options.

Coffee and Chili Leg of Lamb with Cranberry Chuntey Recipe

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

When to make it: Leg of lamb should be roasted the day you are serving it. Cranberry chutney may be made 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 12-oz bag fresh cranberries
  • 3 tangerines
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup minced shallot
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1½ tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp finely ground dark-roast coffee
  • 2 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 4½ lbs bone-in leg of lamb, tied around its width at 1-inch intervals
  • 1 tbsp grape seed oil, plus extra for greasing baking dish


Start by making cranberry chutney. Pulse cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl.

Finely grate 2 tsp of tangerine zest. Peel, segment and coarsely chop tangerines and add to cranberries along with zest, sugar, shallot, mint and ginger. Stir together until well combined. Cover and set aside at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.

While chutney sits, make lamb. Start by combining coffee, chili powder, brown sugar, paprika, salt and cumin in a bowl.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place leg of lamb in an oiled roasting pan before rubbing with 1 tbsp oil and massaging spice mixture all over the meat. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Roast lamb in middle of preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg registers 135°F (about 1½ to 2 hours). Transfer roasted lamb leg to a cutting board and let rest, uncovered, for 25 minutes.

Carve lamb and serve with raw cranberry chutney. Serves 6 to 8.