Easter is three weeks away and I’m looking forward to tucking into a leg of lamb – it’s always been a favourite choice of mine for our Easter lunch.
I usually make an aromatic mix of rosemary and garlic, spiked with lemon and mixed into butter to stuff into deep slits I cut into the skin.
This adds to the delicious aroma of the roasting joint wafting through the house.
Indeed, while the joint is cooking, my guests, one by one, are drawn into the kitchen, especially when the oven is opened and the joint basted with the wonderful garlicky rosemary juice. Lunch becomes such a wonderful social event.
Earlier this month my recipes were trials for carrots to go with the lamb.
Carrots with ginger and garlic or roasted wrapped with bacon.
I’m going for the bacon wrapped ones as I can’t resist bacon.
Other vegetables will include potatoes roasted in goose fat; fine lemony green beans and mashed swede.
Of course, there will be gravy and mint sauce.
I’ve a small herb garden and have been coaxing the mint along to ensure I have sufficient for the lunch.
If not, I’ll cheat and buy a bunch from the supermarket.
The beans can be steamed, boiled or microwaved. Whichever way you choose, don’t add the dressing until the last moment.
- 1 leg of lamb (around 2.4kg)
- 2 large thickly sliced potatoes
- 1 large thickly sliced onion
- To baste: 2 well crushed cloves of garlic
- 1tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 4tbsp soft butter
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Remove the lamb from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
- Make at least 20 small slits all over the lamb.
- Mix together the baste ingredients and spread all over the lamb, pushing deep into the slits.
- Make a “bed” for the lamb in a roasting dish with the potato and onion – season well.
- Place the lamb snugly on top of the veg and pop in the oven.
- Baste occasionally with the juices from the meat.
- For a medium-end result cook for 25 minutes per 450g plus 25 minutes.
- When cooked remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving
- Keep the potato and onion warm until ready to serve.
- Making our own mint sauce is easy.
- Get a bunch of mint, strip off the leaves, wash and pat dry.
- Chop the leaves finely and add a tbsp caster sugar.
- Pour over 4tbsp boiling water, stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Then add 4tbsp white wine vinegar and stir again.
- Check the taste and add more sugar if you like and a pinch of salt.