A classic roast leg of lamb makes for a succulent holiday dinner. But don’t relegate it to only special occasions. Lamb offers a great change of pace any time of year.
Recipe courtesy of New Zealand’s Chef Peter Gordon.
- 1 (3.5 to 4 lb.) leg of New Zealand lamb
- 2 teaspoons rubbed (dried) mint – or use a handful of shredded fresh mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or a small handful fresh thyme on the stem
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or use 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt)
- 1 turkey oven roasting bag
- 2 bay leaves
- 4-5 large baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 heaping tablespoon flour (optional)
- 1 Heat oven to 300°F.
- 2 Take the lamb from the fridge and set on a tray. Using a thin sharp knife poke about 20 holes in the lamb all over it – poking in no more than 1/2 inch. Mix the mint, thyme, garlic and soy together with plenty of freshly ground black pepper then rub it all over the lamb, poking some into the holes.
- 3 Place the lamb in the roasting bag, along with any excess herbed soy mix and the bay leaves, then seal it. Set in a roasting tray and cook for an hour, then turn the bag and lamb over and roast another 20 minutes.
- 4 Meanwhile, boil the potato quarters in plenty of salted water for 10 minutes. Drain the water from them, put a lid on the pot and shake them around to soften their edges.
- 5 Sauté the onions in the butter until they soften then mix with the potatoes.
- 6 Take the lamb from the oven and increase the temperature to 350°F.
- 7 Carefully split the bag open using scissors or a sharp knife; steam will come out so be careful not to burn yourself. Let the juices run into the roasting dish then carefully remove the bag and discard.
- 8 Move the lamb to the center of the roasting dish and place the potatoes around it. Roast until the potatoes are cooked through and slightly crispy – about 40 minutes, turning them once.
- 9 To serve: Take the lamb from the roasting dish and leave to rest in a warm place, on a warmed platter, for 10-20 minutes, covered with foil and a tea-towel. Remove the potatoes and onions from the roasting dish and place back in the oven to keep warm and to crisp. If your roasting dish can be placed on an element then do so and when warmed add the stock. If not, then pour the stock into the dish and gently scrape the bits from the bottom then pour into a small pan. Either way, heat it up and bring to a simmer. Dissolve the flour in 3 tablespoons cold water then mix into the simmering liquid, stirring constantly as you do so to prevent lumps from forming. Simmer for 5 minutes, then taste for seasoning. You might like to strain this to give a smooth gravy, but I like the rustic look.