Nothing beats a good roast, and lamb is probably the best of all. We stud it with garlic and rosemary for the perfect flavour.
THE ROAST LAMB
1.8kg / 4lb leg of lamb on the bone
3 long stems of rosemary
5 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Half a teaspoon of salt
Quarter teaspoon of pepper
ROSEMARY AND ONION GRAVY
1 small onion
1 long stem of rosemary
2 cloves of garlic
1 pint / 560ml / 2½ cups of water
Bisto or gravy granules (see pack instructions)PREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes
Recipe by Sue Mason.
Buy the lamb joint from your local butcher. They will cut it to the size and shape you prefer. If you buy from a supermarket, you have no choice.
We suggest in this recipe that for the main cooking time the oven is set to 180°C / Fan 160°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 which is slightly lower than some other recipes. However the cooking time we recommend is slightly increased compared to the average. This results in lamb which is slightly pink (but not the current trend of almost raw) almost all the way through to the bone.
If your preference is for lamb which is almost red, reduce the main cooking time by ten to fifteen minutes. If you prefer your lamb well done, but not over cooked, increase the cooking time by ten to fifteen minutes.
Alternatives to leg of lamb are rack of lamb, saddle or rump. We served our roast lamb with Brussels Sprouts fresh from the allotment, frozen peas and freshly made Lyonnaise Potatoes.
Be aware that carving the meat from a roast leg of lamb on the bone is the most complex part of this recipe. If the carving is likely to be a problem for you, we have two suggestions.
The first is to forgo a joint on the bone and ask your butcher to remove the bone, roll the meat and tie it up. This makes carving a much easier task.
The second is to view the video below to pick up a few hints and tips. We watched several and the one below appeared to us to be the most realistic and useful. One point though, at around 4 minutes 20 seconds the chef carves the meat towards himself - never do that unless you are using a carving fork and even then, be very careful.
The video is here.
Add the salt and pepper for the roast lamb to a small bowl and mix in the olive oil. Gently rub the mixture into the top surface of the lamb. Using a small, sharp knife, make around twenty 3 cm / 1 inch deep small cuts equally spaced on the surface of the lamb. Insert a cut sprig of rosemary and garlic slice into each of the cuts.STEP 2
Put the prepared lamb joint into a baking tin, and place in the top part of the oven. Let it cook for 20 minutes.
Turn the oven down to 180°C / Fan 160°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and remove the lamb from the oven. Add the chopped onion (plus the additional onion if making gravy) around the baking tray and drizzle them with olive oil.STEP 3
Place the baking tray back into the oven. Cook for a further I hour 30 minutes. Baste (spoon the juices over the lamb joint to keep it moist) halfway through cooking. When the lamb is cooked, remove it from the oven. If making the gravy place the lamb and half the onions on a warm plate and cover with cooking foil. If not making gravy, simply cover with cooking foil.
Let the lamb joint rest for 15 minutes. To make gravy, place the baking tray (with onions and juices) on a high heat, add the chopped garlic and crushed rosemary. Stir all the time and let the gravy boil for a minute.STEP 4
Still stirring, add the water to thin out the gravy to the consistency you prefer. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve the lamb surrounded by the roast onions to the table and carve into slices (one to 2cm thick). Place on warm plates with lots of vegetables and gravy.STEP 5
If you have any lamb left over it can be minced and used to make Shepherds Pie. When you use a mincer you know exactly what your mince consists of!