Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Roast leg of lamb

I made this for dinner on Christmas day...

A lot depends on the quality of the lamb...this one was beautiful, quite small, and cooked until pink.

Reckon on 15 minutes for each 500gr of lamb, or for each 1lb, depending on where you are.

For 6

A splash of olive oil

6 large potatoes, cut very thinly, skin on
1 leg of lamb, approx. 2kg/4lbs, bone in
2 cloves of garlic, cut into matchsticks
4 sprigs of rosemary, needles pulled off in tufts of 3-4
6 branches oregano
4 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 230'C/ 440'F.

In a large roasting pan spread the olive oil and then add the thinly sliced potatoes, in layers. Season each layer.

Stab the top of the lamb in about 10 places with a thin, sharp knife. Into each slit stuff 2 matchsticks of garlic, 3-4 needles of rosemary and a few leaves of oregano. Use the point of the knife to work them until they hardly show. Yes you can. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.

I put the potato pan on a lower rack in the oven, placed the leftover herb branches directly on an oven rack right above them, and put the lamb straight on top of those, so that the drips would fall into the potatoes, which still have a lot of hot air circulating above them (this makes them deliciously crisp). You could just raise the lamb off the roasting pan if you have a wire roasting grid that fits your pan, but I think the potatoes would end up softer, as they would steam a little.

After 1/2 an hour, lower the oven to 200'C/400'F. Drizzle the lemon over the meat and let it drip down. Roast another half hour (for this weight of lamb).

Now, REST. This lamb can rest, on a warm plate*, covered with foil, for up to a happy half hour (and not less than 15 minutes) in a warming drawer, or warm place. Just make sure it is covered. It will make all the difference when it comes to carving and eating.

A rested lamb is a tender lamb. Remember to carve against the grain.

Serve the potatoes on the side, of course. We ate the lamb with my mom's crab apple jelly. I had made salsa verde but forgot it in the fridge...

*I have a thing about warm plates.Warm food belongs on warm plates. It's all about pleasure, and the extension thereof.


  1. I have a nice leg in the freezer and will make this upon our return. Can't wait.

  2. I missed these kinds of dish in parties! It has been a long time since we had!

  3. tonight, finally. I hope its still good (our frozen lamb, that is)

  4. hmmm. i'd like to see a photo of the oven configuration por favor. or a drawing on a bar napkin.


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