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Rosemary Lamb with Caramelized Onion Gravy

Slow roasted rosemary lamb with caramelized onion gravy

By the time April rolls around, it will be absolutely steaming hot in Hong Kong. I wanted to take advantage of some of this cooler weather to enjoy a lovely slow roasted rosemary lamb for a family Sunday dinner.

Slow roasted rosemary lamb with caramelized onion gravy

Slow roasted rosemary lamb is the kind of dish that makes everyone ask, about every 5 minutes if you're a hungry teenager," is it done yet"? " Is it done yet"? The beautiful aromatic rosemary, garlic, caramelized onions and the lamb smell so good it is hard to wait and resist.

Slow roasted rosemary lamb with caramelized onion gravy

The lamb is so tender you can cut it with your fork. The pan juices mingle with the herbs to create a delightful broth that is perfect for a glamorous gravy.

Slow roasted rosemary lamb with caramelized onion gravy

If you prefer a simple mint sauce with your lamb, then I have just the recipe for you. Throw in a few vegetables for roasting and whip up a garden delight salad and you are in for one delightfully simple but classy meal.

Slow roasted rosemary lamb with caramelized onion gravy

Sundays are also known as "Homework Hell" days. If you are a parent, you know exactly what I am talking about. For those innocent people, that have not had the joys of having your entire Sunday turned into a homework marathon, let me take a moment to explain.

Slow roasted rosemary lamb with caramelized onion gravy

Teenagers, especially boys, love to procrastinate. They also love to work independently for about 4 weeks on a project and then come for help on the last and final hour for advisement. It is on Sundays, when they feel compelled to finally practice that speech, need math or physics help and finally get around to revising for that business exam.

Slow roasted rosemary lamb with caramelized onion gravy

It is like clock work. You want a family day or day together of family fun, well you have it all right. One full solid day of togetherness double checking assignments and watching them review their presentations and the list goes on and on...but I would not have it any other way. I love my boys!

Slow roasted rosemary lamb with caramelized onion gravy

Sundays are a great day to have minimal fuss in the kitchen with lots of glamour. This dish is so easy as the prep is less than 15 minutes and then you pop it in the oven while you have time to deal with the other things at hand, like homework hell. Let your family and friends think you slaved in the kitchen, throw a little flour on your face and pretend to look distraught.  I promise I won't tell a soul.

Slow roasted rosemary lamb with caramelized onion gravy



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Healthy World Cuisine (HWC) Magazine is committed to provide a lifestyle traveling culinary experience featuring fresh ingredients, easy recipe preparation and culinary enjoyment. READ MORE...

Rosemary Lamb with Caramelized Onion Gravy

By HWC Magazine  , , , ,

March 15, 2013

Simple savory slow roasted aromatic rosemary lamb with glamorous gravy and a side of special mint sauce.

  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yields: 6 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager


lamb - 4 pounds (I used a lamb shoulder)

olive oil - 2-3 tablespoons

steak seasoning - to taste

onions - 2 small onions (1 chopped and 1 sliced)

rosemary - several springs about 8-10 (few sprigs chopped and the rest whole)

garlic - 5-8 cloves chopped

beer - 1 can (if gluten intolerant can either skip or use about 1 cup of chicken broth or white wine if prefer)

cornstarch - 1-2 teaspoons (mixed in a little water) as needed to thicken for gravy

butter - 2 knobs

mint leaves - 1 large handful fresh

water - 2 tablespoons

apple vinegar - 2 tablespoons

sugar or sugar alternative - 1 tablespoon

salt - to taste


1Preheat oven to 220°C (430°F)

2In a greased baking pan or in your dutch oven, lay your " fresh sliced" onion on the bottom of the pan. Lay a few fresh sprigs of rosemary on top (you can substitute with dried rosemary but it is just not as good). Set aside.

3Cut thin horizontal and vertical slices into the fat covering the lamb shoulder. Coat the lamb with olive oil and sprinkle with steak seasoning, minced garlic and half of the chopped rosemary and rub into the lamb with your hands. Sear lamb quickly on all sides until a nice golden brown in a large frying pan. Remove lamb and place in a you baking pan with your bed of onions and rosemary.

4Slow roasted rosemary lamb with caramelized onion gravy

5Step 4: Add onions and beer to deglaze the pan the lamb was seared in.  (Can substitute beer with a glass of white wine or gluten free lamb or chicken broth if going gluten free or diabetic friendly) Gently simmer a couple of minutes until onions are slightly softened and the beer deglazes the pan.

6Gently place your seared lamb and all the lovely onions and beer on top of the layer of fresh sliced onions and rosemary in your roasting pan or dutch oven. Place a few remaining sprigs of fresh rosemary on top. (If you want, you can add some baby potatoes and root vegetables around the lamb for a compete meal)

7 Cover your roast with aluminum foil and place in the oven to cook. Set timer for 1/2 hour.

8 A the half hour mark, remove the aluminum foil cover and reduce the oven temperature to 130°C (270°F). Baste your lamb about every 20 minutes or as needed to look like you are slaving away  in the kitchen and pour yourself a glass of wine.

9Depending on the size of your lamb, it will take between 2 to 2.5 hours or until the internal temperature is about 165 F or about 30 minutes per pound. My lamb was so tender I could cut it with a spoon.

10Take your lamb out of the oven, keep it tented to keep warm while you make your gravy and/or mint sauce. Save all that glorious pan juices to make a fantastic gravy.

11Slow roasted rosemary lamb with caramelized onion gravy

12Make the caramelized onion gravy: Place your pan juices through a strainer. In a pan, add back the strained juices from the roasted lamb and add enough of a cornstarch/water mixture to slightly thicken this beautiful gravy. Add a couple of knobs of butter and season to taste. Place in a gravy container to serve with the slow roasted lamb.

13Make the mint sauce: This is not required but some like gravy and some prefer mint sauce, so this is another option. In a food processor, blend your fresh mint leaves with just a little water to get it moving. In a little sauce pan add water, sugar, salt and vinegar and cook gently just until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the burner. Let mixture completely cool and then mix in your freshly chopped mint in the sugar vinegar mixture. Serve this fresh mint sauce along with your slow roasted rosemary lamb.



  • If your sons like to procrastinate, we would be great friends 😛
    Lovely looking meal to keep you and your family running around the clock – beautiful flavouring 😀


    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you CCU. I dont believe your a procrastinator one little bit. However I know that given the option between studying for you exams and baking with some nutella, I think we all know which one you might prefer.

  • Your lamb looks wonderful! And I remember those “homework” days from my youth…we would often stay up until 2 or 3 am finishing a project or an essay. I’m sure that we were not very efficient at that hour. I have become a little smarter now, I know that it pays to sleep and try get everything done during the day!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you dear and I know if you made it through this phase there is hope for me too and my procrastinating boys. I have not stayed up to the wee hours with them, thank goodness. Take care, BAM

  • Jo (

    MMMM, my mouth is watering this looks so good. I don’t believe I’ve ever had lamb before. I just love your pics, they’re always so pretty! Homework…geck! My daughter is in 10th grade and I don’t understand half of what she is doing! 😉

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Jo and thanks. If you are not big on lamb a nice pork roast done using the same method would be beautiful. I know the older they get, the older we feel and when we try to help them we do it the old fashion way which totally frustrates them, esp, with Maths. You have to hope they have some really smart friends.

  • I love this

  • This looks so good I’m salivating!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Tandy, thank you. I would sent some your way but don’t think it would fare well on a slow shrimp boat from China to South Africa… LOL Have a super weekend. BAM

  • Wow this looks so juicy and tender, such perfection!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Natalie, it looks like it is alot of work but that is the beauty of this dish it is very low maintenance with lots of taste.

  • What a beautiful dish!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you. What are you making this weekend?

  • Very nice roast. Your mint sauce is very similar to mine, except I use white vinegar. If you make lots, it keeps well and is great for glazing lamb chops for another meal!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello John and thanks, this mint sauce is good for lots of other recipes.I even used some of it to make a salad dressing and it was quite nice. I think I would have preferred white vinegar but apple cider or Chinese dark vinegar was all I had in my pantry. You definitely don’t want to use Chinese black vinegar in this recipe.

  • Yeah, I know all about that procrastination thing! And I know a good recipe when I see one, and this looks terrific! I don’t do much with lamb shoulder, but it’s so good when roasted for a long time like yours. And you’re definitely right that no knife needed – a fork is more than sufficient to cut it! I’m not a big fan of the mint jelly people sometimes serve with lamb, but mint sauce is another matter. Yours looks delish. Good recipe, fun post – thank you.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Oh John, were you one of those kids too? Well it looks like you turned out swell, so maybe there is hope for my boys… (Smiling) This lamb was really beautiful. My boys are generally not big on lamb but when you add lots of garlic, onions and aromatics to the mix it makes everything taste better. I know what you mean about that odd mint jelly you find in the stores that stuff is just horrible but the mint sauce is beautiful and fresh.Take care, BAM

  • What a wonderful Sunday dinner! Kids and homework … I remember those days … panic at the last moment 😉

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Brenda. The only good part about Sundays is the food as homework sessions are quite the bore. I can’t wait until this phase is over but it also is sad as I know that as teenagers it will be soon when they part and go their own ways. So with that all in perspective, bring on the physics homework…Take care, BAM

  • I completely understand Sunday homework days – in fact, it seems as though we have homework days every day of the week! We slow roast every Sunday – but usually on the Big Green Egg…can’t wait until Sunday! Your roast looks amazing!!!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Dawn, I think every mom/dad can sympathize with Sunday homework days. I know that during the week it is painful, but all I want is just one part of the weekend open. I am sure it will only intensify as coursework becomes more challenging. Happy St. Pattys day to you!!!Happy slow roasting. BAM

  • Ah, looks excellent & I love that 15 minutes prep time. Always keep a dirty apron on hand for show & plenty of pots piled up in the drainer.
    Sunday homework days…so glad those are behind me although now it seems like my daughter always has some homework from work to get done. I can’t really help her there but it usually means that Sunday visits end too soon.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Diane, that is brilliant of course you should help set the scene by making it look like a cyclone hit the kitchen, but then we would have to clean it up…So preferred option is just to bang a lot of clean pots and pans around with the kitchen door closed while you finish your glass of wine. LOL Today is Saturday in HK so going to see if we can spread out the pain of homework hell over 2 days. I will let you know how that all goes…Take care, BAM

  • How easy is it to get lamb, especially a whole shoulder, in Hong Kong?
    Your lamb sure looks gorgeous, not a lamb person but I guess pork shoulder would make a good substitute here.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Norma, your right it is not an easy thing to find in HK. They finally has a few smaller lamb shoulders at park n shop from Australia, so I took advantage of the opportunity. As you know, big pieces of meat here are usually very expensive. This was a big treat but we did eat off of this for 2 meals, so it actually ended up being a good deal. Pork loin would be a fantastic alternative. The rosemary, onions and garlic really make this dish special. Take care, BAM

  • Oh WOW!!! This looks amazing! I can imagine how fantastic your kitchen smelled with all those gorgeous aromas. I am pinning this one to my “Winter Warmers” in Pinterest.
    Oh and drop by my site i have added you to my Foodie Friends Blogroll 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you so much for adding me to your pins and adding me to your foodie friend blog roll. I am very delighted and am on my way to see what you have been cooking this weekend. Take care, BAM

  • Eha

    You have hit my weak spot here, BAM 🙂 ! I just love lamb!! Living mostly alone at the moment don’t use larger pieces to bake too often, but one can get quite small shoulders which I have always preferred over the leg. Haven’t cooked it quite as slow, but shall try if I find a good piece of meat at next week’s shop. And mint sauce in this instance, please! Methinks I had too many ‘gloopy’ ‘gravies’ rather than sauces when I first arrived in Australia as a little migrant girl: still do not like the sound of them 🙂 !

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Eha,
      Or even better yet make the whole 4 pound shoulder and have lots of yummy leftovers. There are so many things you can make with these delicious leftovers. A moroccan lamb stew, lamb with yogurt and mint in pitas, and the list goes on and on. The mint sauce is very light and refreshing and a million times better than that nasty mint sauce that comes in jar. I hope your weekend is sunny and bright. Take care, BAM

  • I just love rosemary! Your lamb looks so juicy and delicious!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Kristi and thanks. Rosemary is one of those beautiful aromatics that just makes the whole house smell wonderful.

  • Buona Sera, BAM! This roast has all of the Mediterranean flavors that I’m familiar with but that’s only the beginning. Our roasts were never slow-roasted and surely caramelized onions were never used. I don’t recall anything being roasted with it, either. Those onions and rosemary in the pan juices, waiting to be strained and reduced, are a thing of beauty. I saw your reply to Eha about leftover. C’mon, BAM. That gorgeous roast doesn’t stand a chance for leftovers with your teenagers in the house! I’m surprised that a 4 pounder was enough!
    This was a wonderful post, BAM, beautifully photographed. I couldn’t pin it fast enough. Thanks for sharing.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Bonjourno John, thank you for your very kind comment. I must admit on this day the only reason why I had a morsel of leftovers was that I was down by one teenager for the weekend. Now the math all makes sense….(wink , wink) It seemed almost sinful to make a roast as here in HK, it is very difficult to find and generally very expensive but this time I found a perfect one. I know those reserved pan juices are so heavenly. I actually did not leave a thing go to waste as the remaining onions I tossed into the food processor and made a delicious soup. I hope this weekend mother nature is kind to you and no snow in Michigan. Take care, BAM

  • I grew up in Hong Kong and know exactly the heat that you’re referring to! The humidity really makes it worse! Anyway, I agree with you now it’s the time to bake more. 😉 Your Roasted lamb looks gorgeous and the gravy sounds delicious as well. My kids are still young before they really have any serious projects due from school. But I’m taking your advise and be on the look out on the “Homework Hell” day! 😛

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Amy, So nice to meet you. I have the windows open and enjoying the last couple of weeks before I have to run aircon on full time. I hope you are enjoying sunny California and looking forward to keeping in touch. Take care, BAM

  • Lamb and mint sauce are just meant for each other…we just love this meal in our household, even though, I feel, I smell like lambs after stuffing myself with it 😛

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Annie, thanks for stopping by. Lamb and mint are beautiful together. I think it needs that little fresh flavor the break the richness of the lamb. Have a super weekend. BAM

  • i eat goat meat more than lamb but I absolutely love it, only the cost prevents me from buying it as much as I would like. Bobby, I would say, this is a mouthwatering recipe with simple mint sauce ( which I would prefer more than onion gravy).

    • Bams Kitchen

      I understand the cost factor is the biggest issue, especially when it has to be imported to Asia. However, many larger roasts could be cooked this way and it would be beautiful. My boys like the gravy and I loved the mint sauce. I even made a little salad dressing with the mint sauce and it was quite nice.

  • Anne ~ Uni Homemaker

    Oh my, that lamb is so succulent! I would too ask “Is it done yet? Is it done yet?” 😉 Delicious post Bobbi.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Anne. Slow cooking with little fuss is my kind of cooking. Pop on over there is always room at Bam’s Kitchen table but you have to fight the boys off for a helping… Take care, BAM

  • This looks absolutely delicious! Roast lamb is my favourite meat, and I’m sure that your wonderful caramelized gravy is a perfect accompaniment.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Really? You know it is a mixed crowd when it comes to lamb. I think the spices and the caramelized onion gravy would be perfect on many different types of meat like pork or beef roast as well. Have a super day. BAM

  • I love that gravy !

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Carolyn. The boys loved it and it was put on the you can make this dish again mom list.

  • Oh, my gosh those Sunday homework days.. we had so many dreadful ones where Science Fair projects had to be assembled at the last minute! I was never so happy when Science Fair ended, lol. I can just imagine the wonderful scent of this dish baking while your family was working away in the kitchen. What a great mom you are! xx

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hi Barbara, So happy to have you visit. I still have quite a few more years of Sunday homework bliss ahead but glad to see others like your self had made it through this phase relatively unharmed. Maybe there is hope for me. Happy Cooking

  • Ashley @thedrivencook

    What a lovely lamb dish. Stunning presentation!

  • petit4chocolatier

    I am salivating right now. This is the most beautiful lamb I have ever seen. I love the flavours; especially rosemary. I love this 🙂
    The addition of possibly beer is an amazing fit. You are incredible!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you for your very kind comment. I don’t know it if the most beautiful one I have seen but maybe one of the most tender ones I have had in a very long time. Slow cooking is the way to go with this.

  • I love the flavours on your rack of lamb. I am especially amazed by rosemary and how it goes with meats… I am sure your meat would have tasted amazing with that.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Rosemary and lamb go together beautifully. As you know, lamb has a stronger taste than other cuts of meat so it can stand up to the strong flavors of the rosemary and they balance out well. Wishing you a super week. BAM

  • Your lamb turned out very juicy looking!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks I am really happy with how it turned out. It was really tender as well and you could cut it with a fork or spoon.

  • I just ordered my leg of lamb for Easter…i was so happy to see a lamb post from you! It looks wonderful!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Dear Liz, That is a great advanced planning on your part. Thanks for the inspiration. I need to really think about doing some pre-ordering as many things go out of stock quickly here in Hong Kong and are never restocked. Take Care, BAM

  • That lamb looks juicy and tender, makes me wanna have a slice

    • Bams Kitchen

      Ray, there is always an extra space at Bam’s kitchen table, your invited any time. Have a super day.BAM

  • This is beautiful, Bobbi. Of course, I love lamb. And there’s nothing better than lamb and rosemary!!!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Mimi, I am so glad you like this dish. Rosemary and lamb and the refreshing mint sauce make a really nice pair.

  • That is quite a stunning piece of meat Bam. Love all of the flavors you rubbed all over it to give it such amazing flavor. I can only imagine how good your house smelled. And YES, TRIPLE YES!, Sundays can be quite a homework draining nightmare. You said it so perfectly. Teenage boys do generally procrastinate on fully completing the grueling projects until the stroke of midnight. It’s quite annoying but we do love them so anyways. I am with you on the whole crazy thing.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Geni. It was quite the roast. You know because we live in Asia, we mostly eat vegetables, rice and some fish or a little bits of meat as it is so expensive. This was a big treat. I hope and I get through these homework Sundays unscathed. I hear there is hope for us. Take care, BAM

  • Wow that’s looks so delicious but a shame that I don’t eat lamb >_< maybe I can change the recipe and use beef instead hehe ~

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Daisy, I know some do not like the stronger taste. A great substitute is pork or beef as the onions, rosemary and beer really do make all roasts taste wonderful. Take care, BAM

  • I love your new site! realised that it dropped out of my wordpress reader..
    Anyway the roastmary lamb looks lovey! togehter with the caramelised gravy! Looks perfect for a weekend dinner!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Jo, I moved to a self hosted site about a month ago. I am so glad you came over for a visit. Thanks for your lovely comment. If you add me to you RSS feed then I will still show up in your wordpress reader. Take care, BAM

  • Procrastination you say? Do all teenagers know each other and plan these hellish events for their parents? My daughters sound like your boys! One thing for sure, this lamb roast would be all gone at my house too. I am not a lamb fan but my husband and children are carnivores. The lamb looks beautiful Bobbi, and that mint sauce, so perfect and light.


    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Nazeen, maybe my boys have been talking to your girls and are plotting against us moms? I sure hope this stage goes quickly. We usually eats lots of veggies and either a little chicken or fish but this was a little treat for my carnivores boys. Thanks for your kind comment. I used the mont sauce in a salad dressing and it was really fresh and lovely. Take care, BAM

  • This looks so perfect for Easter it may just very well have to be included on the menu!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you. When you have all of those other side dishes that take up a lot of time on Easter Day, I am glad this ones is so easy. Take Care, BAM

  • Goodness, I want to lick the screen! I can imagine the aroma already. Oh and procrastination is so applicable to all ages in different way haha. 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Kelly, thank you for the visit. My boys are the kings of procrastination and eat me out of house and home. I really hope I can survive through this phase… Take care, BAM

  • Love this… looks ‘fall off the bone’ succulent. Another winner from Bam’s Kitchen 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you very much. You can cut it with a spoon. Have a super day. BAM

  • It looks so tender, juicy and droolicious……

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Lubna, thanks so much for stopping by and for your lovely comment. Looking forward to keeping in touch. Take care, BAM

  • Mmm this looks delicious Bam! Love the new layout, too 😀

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hi there, glad you like my new theme. It is a work in process but having a lot of fun with it. Take care, BAM

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    I love this lamb. I’ve always poked the garlic cloves in but I’m definitely going to try this the next time I visit the butcher!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Maureen and it is so nice to have you visit. Stuffing your peeled cloves of garlic into the lamb or just bashing your un-peeled garlic and dropping them around the pan are also great options. I just used crushed garlic as I did not have any whole. Every week I pre-chop a few heads of garlic and put in a little tupperware container in the refrigerator. We go through lots of garlic in my house due to all the Asian cooking and this is a great time saver. Take Care, BAM

  • I am in a lamb state of mind today. Everyonbes lamb recipes is making me hungry lol. This looks so scrumptious. I can’t wait to try my hand at this recipe

    • Bams Kitchen

      I think lamb, hams and other larger roasts are on lots of peoples’ minds as they think about Easter Sunday’s dinner menu planning. Lamb is a great option with little fuss. Take care, BAM

  • Caramelized onion gravy sounds heavenly! I’ll have to try that with a seitan roast and mushroom broth instead… What a decadent, richly savory topping for mashed potatoes that would be!

    • Bams Kitchen

      A seitan roast with mushrooms would be stunning and love your idea for the mashed potatoes and gravy. Comfort food in its finest. Take care, BAM

  • The looks beautiful, a perfect dish sunday roast 🙂

  • This is one of my husband’s and my favorite dishes although I use the leg…a shoulder roast is not very common in my area. It looks delicious! Oh, I think we have all gone through the Sundays you speak of. 🙂

  • I’m not used to eating lamb because my mom didn’t cook it at all, but I love the way you prepared and looks so delicious!! You have such a broad range of repertoire and your family is so lucky!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Arigato gozarimashita Nami-san. I think that you could use a pork roast or even a beef roast and it would be lovely. I know that roasts of ay kind are an oddity in Asia as we normally eat lots of veggies, rice and a little bit of fish or meat unlike the western countries. So this was a rare treat for our family as well. Have a super weekend. BAM

  • What a beautiful roast lamb and the gravy looks amazing (a testament to your expert photography). I can see why your sons were asking when it would be ready! By the way, I’m storing away all of your little bits on raising teenage sons. I feel like my little guys will be there soon (they’re getting so big!).

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Allison for your kind comment. I hope your taking close notes on the portion sizes for teenagers. Now you laugh, but one day you will understand.

  • Wow, this lamb looks perfect for Easter dinner. Can I post about it on my blog this week and link my readers over to you, Bam? Shoot me an email if that works for you? Beautiful!

  • Mmmm lamb 🙂

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