Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Roasted Leg of Lamb and Potatoes

Sunday afternoon and I purchased a 4lb leg of lamb - it was time to re-live a tradition from my childhood - a Sunday roast with potatoes and veggies. I am also in the midst of financial frugality so this also enabled me to partake in several options for leftovers.

While in England recently, I came upon a TV chef who I really enjoyed watching: James Martin. I found the basis for this recipe on the BBC Food website. I love roasted leg of lamb for its simplicity, the lovely aromas, and basically because it is delicious.

Along with the leg of lamb you need a few garlic cloves (cut up into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces), some fresh rosemary (I actually omitted this), olive oil, and a few potatoes (depending on the number of people you are serving).

Remove the lamb from the refrigerator to sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Insert a paring knife into the lamb every few inches and insert the pieces of garlic and a few rosemary leaves (if desired). Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and then drizzle with olive oil.

After placing a roasting pan on the bottom rack of the oven, place the leg of lamb directly onto the middle rack. The roasting pan will catch the fat dripping from the lamb and will be used to roast the potatoes. Par-boil the potatoes for about 5 minutes. Drain them, return them to the pan, and shake the pan to make the outside of the potatoes look fluffy.

After the lamb has cooked for about 20 minutes, add the potatoes to the roasting pan, coating them with the lamb fat. Turn the potatoes a few times and they will be chunks of golden brown crispy loveliness when they are done. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper just when they are removed from the pan.

The lamb will take about 1 to 2 hours depending on the cut, the size, and how you like the lamb cooked.

I served this with carrots, peas, and mint sauce. I paired the meal with a lovely organic Bordeaux - Chateau Peybonhomme Les Tours 2005 Premieres Cotes de Blaye.

Note: you can save strain and save the fat from the roasting pan - keep it in a dish in the refrigerator and use it - lamb fat is delicious.

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