Garlic, herb and lemon slow roasted lamb

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Now here is a recipe that is too good not to share- my garlic, herb and lemon slow roasted lamb. This can be used for either lamb leg or shoulder and it is ideal for a lazy Sunday roast dinner or for entertaining. Lamb is now in season in the UK so it is the perfect time to get your hands on some and make the most of it. I recently cooked this for Easter lunch and it went down a storm! For 4 people I used a half leg of lamb which meant that everyone was well fed but there were certainly no leftovers! If you have large appetites, want leftovers or if you are feeding the 5,000 then by all means use a larger joint and cook for longer until the meat is falling off the bone.

If you have time then you can prepare the lamb the night before you want to start cooking it by following the first step, covering tightly and leaving in the fridge to allow the flavours to infuse.

Ingredients- serves 4
Half leg of lamb
Handful each of fresh thyme and rosemary
2 bulbs of garlic
1 lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
300ml water or white wine

1. If preparing the meat either the night before or the morning of cooking then all you need to do is find a deep tray that will comfortably fit the half leg in and pop it in. Peel around 4 cloves of garlic, cut them into quarters and use a sharp knife to make slits in the lamb; pop a sliver of garlic into each slit. Scatter the remaining garlic cloves around the lam in the bottom of the tray. Drizzle the lamb with a little olive oil and rub so it is well coated; season well. Cut the remaining bulb in half width ways and place in the tray cut side up. Scatter the herbs too. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the lemon rind and place on and around the lamb. If preparing in advance, at this stage cover well and refrigerate. If cooking then and there, read on…

2. Preheat the oven to 140c/ 120 fan. Pour the water or wine, depending on what you are using, into the tray. Cover tightly with foil and place on the middle or low shelf in the oven and cook for around 4-5 hours. The time will depend on the size of the joint so check and baste from time to time. If the bottom of the tray becomes too dry then add another splash of water. When the lamb is nearly ready, remove the foil and allow the lamb to catch some colour and turn golden. The juices should run clear and the meat should come away from the bone with ease. Remove from the oven and rest whilst you make other accompaniments.

Garlic, herb and lemon slow roasted lamb- a sure fire crowd pleaser that’s packed with flavour but that needs very little care!

 

Greek style shoulder of lamb with foolproof lemon and caper roasted potatoes

Spring has sprung which means that British lamb is in season so get it while you can. I chose to use half a  lamb shoulder but this would work with leg as well. If you are serving a large crowd then simply double the marinade ingredients and use a whole shoulder. If the idea of roast potatoes gives you cold sweats then look no further- these work every time! I served the meat with a red wine, balsamic and shallot sauce which you must try- find the recipe here: https://whatchloecooked.co.uk/2015/04/04/golden-artichoke-and-spinach-gratin/.

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Ingredients- serves 4
For the lamb
Half a lamb shoulder- approx. 800g
3 garlic cloves
2 tsps dried oregano
Small handful rosemary- finely chopped
Zest of one small lemon
3 anchovy fillets
Good glug of olive oil

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For the roasted potatoes

Maris Piper potatoes (or similar)- enough for 4
Good glug of vegetable oil
Small handful of non- pareille capers
Juice from half a lemon
Salt to season

1. Start off by marinating the lamb well in advance- the morning does the trick but you may want to do it the night before. Simply add all the marinade ingredients into a pestle and mortar and give it a good old bash until you have a thick paste. Rub the paste into the lamb, cover well with foil and pop in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.

2. To cook the lamb, preheat the oven to 150c/ 130 fan. I set the lamb on a trestle of cut onion segments and a little water (100ml will do) to give the lamb a nice steamy environment. Pop the lamb joint on the top and roast for around 2 and a half hours until juicy and tender. Some ovens will vary so do check from time to time and baste the lamb.

3. For the potatoes, parboil halved potatoes in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water and drain well. Some recipes suggest you give the potatoes a shake to mess up the edges however I find that the act of tipping the potatoes in the colander during the draining process is enough. Heat a decent glug of oil in roasting tray and pop in the oven until hot. Add in the potato halves and turn in the oil. Roast with the lamb for around an hour until golden on the outside and fluffy in the centre.

When they are ready, blot them quickly onto kitchen roll to remove any excess oil before squeezing over the lemon juice and sprinkling over the capers. I also like adding a few flakes of sea salt for a bit of extra seasoning. If you are like me, most capers end up being eaten before they make it anywhere near the potatoes so a few extra ones never go amiss!

4. When the lamb is nearly ready, remove the foil for around 10 minutes and finish off to give it a lovely colour before resting for 10 minutes.

Irresistible Greek style spring lamb with crunchy lemon and caper potatoes- a winner this season!