Cabrito Assado do Nova Capela Recipe

Leticia Moreinos Schwartz shares her flavour packed recipe for Cabrito Assado do Nova Cappella – Roasted Leg of Lamb with Mint Chimichurri


This dish will rev up your Sunday lunch no end. You will need to marinade the meat for 24 hours in garlic, onions, bay leaves, pepper and wine. You can just imagine how good that tastes! Remember to bring the lamb to room temperature for an hour before roasting for four hours until it falls off the bone.


  • 1 whole leg of lamb on the bone (5 to 6 lbs/2.25-2.75kg)
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large glass/250ml white wine
  • 1 cup/250ml extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • For the Chimichurri:
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1oz/25g mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 fl.oz/125ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Ground black pepper

Large Roasting dish

1 Season lamb generously with salt and pepper all over. Using a paring knife, make a few deep incisions in the meatiest part of the lamb, insert the garlic, and “close” with meat. Place in a large zip seal freezer bag or bowl with the onion, bay leaves, wine and olive oil. Marinate for 24 hours in the fridge. Bring the lamb to room temperature 1-2 hours before roasting.

2 Place a shelf on the lower third of the oven and heat to 230 C/gas mark 8. Place the leg of lamb in a roasting dish and pour all the liquid marinade over it; reserve the onion pieces in a bowl. Roast for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 150 C/gas mark 2; continue roasting, basting every hour until the meat is pulling away from the bone.  After the second hour, scatter the onions around the meat and continue roasting. Check the meat with a fork; it should feel like pulled meat after about 4 hours. If not, return the lamb to the oven and continue to cook until it is.

3 Remove lamb from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes on a chopping board. Save juices from the carving board and roasting dish to moisten the lamb when serving.

4 To make the chimichurri. Place the garlic, mint and vinegar in a food processor or blender. With the machine running slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream until well blended. Season with salt and pepper.

5 Incorporate the juices from the carving board and roasting dish into the lamb. Carve the lamb from the bone and serve with the chimichurri alongside.

Rio CookbookThis is a recipe from My Rio De Janeiro – A Cookbook, by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz, Published by Kyle Books, £19.99