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Cooking with Coffee: Garlic Lamb with Coffee Gravy

garlic lamb with coffee gravyLamb isn’t to everyone’s taste. In fact, in this family, I don’t make it often because I’m the only one who actually likes lamb. At least, I WAS the only one in the family who actually likes lamb, until I made this garlic-infused lamb with coffee gravy. It was absolutely incredible – tender and savory with a rich, dark gravy. I served it with individual Yorkshire puddings, buttered parsley carrots and a crispy-crusted potato and onion pie. It was so good, in fact, that I couldn’t even get my customary pictures of the feast because it disappeared so fast.

I chose The Organic Coffee Co.’s Rainforest Blend for this recipe. I like to pick full-bodied coffees with strong, bold flavor in meat and savory recipes. Lighter coffees don’t have what it takes to stand up to pungent flavors like garlic, rosemary and thyme. Rainforest Blend, a mingling of Central and South American coffees is roasted a little darker than I like for drinking, but it was the perfect accent for the meat.

Why Cook Lamb with Coffee

Coffee is the surprising secret ingredient in some of the best meat dishes on some of the best menus in the world. The mild acids in brewed coffee help tenderize meat, and seem to cut the richness of fattier cuts. Lamb, even tender spring lamb, has a tendency to be stringy, dry and a little bit fatty all at the same time. Using coffee in the marinade and cooking liquid brings out the best in lamb, while keeping it moist and fork-tender.

Cooking with Coffee: Garlic Lamb with Coffee Gravy

Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Number of servings: 8

Per Serving 724 calories

Fat 49 g

Carbs 3 g

Protein 63 g



  • 6 lb semi-boneless leg of lamb
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups strong black coffee
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup water


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Slice 5 cloves of garlic into thin strips.
  3. Make slits in the lamb at regular intervals. Insert a sliver of garlic into each slit.
  4. Chop the remaining clove of garlic and mince the rosemary and thyme.
  5. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper to the coffee, stirring to mix it together well.
  6. Place the lamb into a deep roasting pan. Slowly pour the coffee over the lamb, allowing some of the liquid to dribble into the lamb through the slits.
  7. Roast the lamb in the hot oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Turn the oven down to 325 F.
  9. Continue cooking the lamb for about 15 minutes per pound, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg reads 140 F.
  10. Remove the lamb to a platter, cover it and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving it.
  11. Pour off the drippings and pan liquid into a small saucepan.
  12. Mix cornstarch into warm water, whisking it or shaking it in a covered jar to dissolve and blend well.
  13. Add the cornstarch mixture to the drippings. Stir constantly over medium heat until the gravy has thickened and darkened.
  14. Serve the lamb with coffee gravy on the side, or drizzle coffee gravy over sliced lamb on the plate


Deb Powers has been reading about coffee, drinking coffee, brewing coffee, writing about coffee and roasting her own coffee for nearly 30 years.She confesses to being a coffee wonk and finds endless fascination in even the most meta of coffee information.
Deb Powers on Google+
Deb Powers (Chamie) at

Deb Powers – who has written posts on CoffeeBreak.Today.

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