My mum was never a fan of lamb, infact she has never cooked it. We used to have lots of rabbit and chicken as my grandparents used to rear them but never lamb.
I guess in the region where I grew up there were not many pastures like you would find in the UK. The first time I spotted England from the plane it was the end of summer and I remember squealing with delight at the sight of that emerald green grass dotted with white.. all scattered around... those were lambs and sheep.. the countryside here is so beautiful.
Since moving to the UK lamb has become one of my favourite meats.
I have learned to cook it quite well and yes, it is fattier than beef but if you choose grass fed, good quality leg of lamb ( I go for organic if I can find it) than you will find it much leaner than some other cuts.
I am off to Italy soon and I have already announced to my family that I will be the chief cook...and I am bringing a leg of lamb in my suitcase! Easter is going to be roast lamb with potatoes, parsnips and lots of roasted veggies.
Lamb is easier to cook than beef which can be tough and chewy if you overcook it. I have trouble cooking roast beef. I have tried used meat thermomethers but I have always managed to get it wrong anyway. That's my next goal: learning to cook beef! If you have any tips for me they would be very welcome!
I usually serve lamb with roast potatoes, parsnips and mint sauce which you can either buy it or you can easily make up your own: a bunch of fresh mint leaves, olive oil, a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt. Easy and refreshing.
- Prep Time : 25 minutes
- Cook Time : 1h 30 min
Remove the lamb from the fridge and let it get at room temperature.
Preheat the oven at 200C or 400F.
Prep your vegetables. It is best to parboil potatoes for a few minutes before roasting them. You can do that by peeling them and cutting them into quarters; put them in a pot covered with salty cold water and bring them to the boil for 7 minutes. Drain and let them steam dry for 3 minutes.
Wash your herbs and cut the rosemary spriggs into 1,5 cm or 0.6 inch pieces. Remove the thyme leaves from the sprig.
Place the lamb on a roasting tin. Using a sharp knife make about 20 deep incisions into the flesh. In a bowl mix 2 tbsp of olive oil, the thyme leaves, two pinches of salt and a grind of pepper. With your hands massage well the lamb with the mixture.
Cut each garlic clove into 2 pieces and fill each slit with it. Put a piece of rosemary into the cavities as well.
Chop the spring onion
Pour the wine on the lamb and add the bay leaves. Finally add the spring onion and sprinkle it over the meat.
Cover the meat with tin foil. After 30 minutes remove the foil and continue roasting it for 50 to 60 minutes for medium, this depends if you like your meat rare or well done. Every so often baste the lamb with the juices from the pan to keep the meat moist.
The potatoes will take just over an hour to roast whereas the parsnips only take 30 to 35 minutes. So you need to add them later and you can put them in the same roasting dish sprinkled with salt and coated with olive oil. Turn the vegetables on both sides to allow them to roast evenly.
When it is cooked, remove the lamb from the oven and leave it to rest for 15 minutes in the roasting tin well wrapped with foil to keep it warm.
Serve with mint sauce if you like.