Sunday, 8 June 2014

Roast Leg of Lamb for Dinner

Come this time of year, just before summer hits in force, I like to cook up a nice lamb roast for dinner. This is truly a seasonal food, especially if like me you try to buy locally sourced foods as much as possible.

Nothing smells better coming out of the oven, I think. The aromatic scents of roasted leg of lamb mingling with those of garlic and rosemary. Then sliced on a plate and covered with a generous spoonful of freshly made mint sauce.

 Cooking your leg of lamb

 It's really this easy!
Roast leg of lamb

A leg of lamb should be nicely filled out with a solid layer of fat under the skin. If the leg is too large to fit into your pan, ask your butcher to cut through the lower 2 – 3 inches of bone and fold that back.

Or, ask him to remove the bone completely! But make sure to check the final weight and adjust your cooking times.

Rinse and dry the lamb, then using a sharp knife cut a lot of small slits in the fat and skin. I generally put a cut every 2 – 3 inches. Insert a sliver of fresh garlic and a small sprig of fresh rosemary into each slit.

Put a tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the lamb and sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper.

Cover with foil, allowing room for expansion.

Place in a preheated oven, gas mark 6/400F/200C/moderately hot.

Cook for 25 minutes per pound plus 25 minutes. Remove the foil the final 45 minutes cooking time and baste before returning uncovered to the oven.

Now, for the Mint Sauce

Take a large handful of fresh peppermint leaves.

Chop roughly, add a teaspoon sugar, and continue chopping until very finely minced.

Put the mint leaves into a small bowl (I use a small glass tumbler) along with a teaspoon of sugar and about 1/2 cup of malt vinegar.

Stir briskly.

When serving, stir briefly before spooning.

Shepherd's Pie

What about leftovers?

I've already given full instructions on how to turn any leftover lamb you might have into a delicious shepherd's pie.