A roast leg of lamb is the perfect family meal for Sunday dinner and is the most favored food for Easter in France.
There are a variety of recipes for roasting a leg of lamb but the following is excellent, and its simplicity brings out the wonderful flavour of the lamb and never fails to please.
The size of your leg of lamb depends on how many you are cooking for. A 6 pound (2.70kg) leg of lamb will feed about 8 people so you can judge by this what weight you will need.
Your butcher will even sell you half a leg if it is just for 2 people, so ask him for what you need.
On the other hand if you buy a larger one you will have lots of meals from it.
I also use the bone and left over meat for making a good stock for soups.
So a good roast on a Sunday will also give you a meal on Monday and soup throughout the week!
Ingredients (Serves 8-10)
· 6 pound (2.70kg) leg of lamb
· 2oz (50gms) melted butter
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 large carrot, cut into thick pieces
· 1 onion cut into thick pieces
· 4 cloves of garlic, optional
· 1 cup (½ pint) of brown stock
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 1 large roasting tin about 1½ inches deep
If you want to remove some of the bones to make
the carving easier, your butcher will do this for you.
· Dry your lamb with kitchen towel – this helps it to brown nicely.
· Pre-set your oven to 230°C (450°F/Gas 8)
· Brush the lamb with melted butter or use a mix of butter and olive oil.
· Place the lamb in the roasting tin and put into the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes.
· Turn and baste the lamb every 15 minutes, or until it starts to brown on all sides.
· Now re-set your oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and continue cooking for about 30 minutes.
· Place your carrots and onions around the lamb. Some recipes suggest putting them in at the start, but I find that they will cook before the meat and sometimes burn, so leave them until about 30 minutes into the cooking time.
· Place the garlic cloves, in their jackets, around the meat 30 minutes before the meat is ready.
Continue to cook your lamb for about 1 hour or
until it is how you like it. If you want your lamb rare, cook for about 1–1½
hours, leave it a little longer if you want it cooked medium rare.
NOTE: A good tip here is if the juices run red when pricked with a fork, it is rare, and if they are paler, it is medium rare.
· Place your roast leg of lamb on a warm plate. Allow it to 'rest' for about 30 minutes before carving. (This is the time that I start to cook the potatoes and green beans I serve with it)
· Remove most of the fat out of the roasting pan.
· Add the stock or bouillon and bring to the boil.
· Scrape all the meat juices and mash the vegetables into the stock as it makes a very tasty gravy. Squeeze the garlic out of their jackets if you have cooked these as well and mash into the gravy.
· Add salt and pepper to taste.
· When ready to serve, strain all the gravy into a sauce boat.
A leg of roast lamb in France is sometimes served with navy or fava beans. Served with either boiled new potatoes or sauteed potatoes your meal will be complete.
But you can serve it with your own favourite vegetable of course and the main thing is that you enjoy your wonderful roast leg of lamb.
Of course your roast leg of lamb will really be complete with a glass of your favourite French wine.