Lamb is to Easter what ham and turkey is to Christmas. It’s back in season and at its best. On the Sunday, I’ll go home to Mum and Dad’s for a big roast, joined by my two sisters and their expanding brood.
But there’s plenty more to do with lamb than just roast it. The leftover bones and meat from a shoulder or leg can be used to make an incredibly simple and delicious Irish stew – so there’ll be no waste. Or you could use a cheaper cut, such as neck, and slowly cook it in a casserole or Moroccan tagine.
If you’ve noticed good deals on lamb or other roasting joints, either in your local butcher, do please let us know.
This most incredible recipe was written from my friend Jacqueline Strawbridge of the Irish Independent’s Love Food magazine. I know it’s only Tuesday but I want to post a few ideas later in the week for using up every last bit of the meat, including the bones. And anyway, you may already be thinking of what to serve on Sunday.
Slowly roasted lamb, wrapped in flavours, covered with foil, and left in the oven for hours a heavenly flavour and gave the most delicious gravy. Jacqui reckons this recipe will serve 4-6 people.
Slow Roasted Lamb with a Rosemary, Lemon, Garlic, and Anchovy Crust
- Joint of lamb (shoulder or leg, 2-3kg)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 6-8 anchovy fillets
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2-3 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
- Olive oil
- Glass of white wine or water
- Preheat oven to 140
- Pound together the garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and anchovies with a little black pepper in a pestle and mortar or food processor; loosen with olive oil
- Slash the meat lightly and rub in about two-thirds of the marinade
- Cover the top with foil, pop in the oven and wait for 2-3 hours (depending on how well you like the lamb cooked, of course!), basting with some marinade every hour or so
- Pour in the glass of white wine or water after about an hour and a half
- Remove from the oven and leave to rest
To Make Gravy:
- Because it was covered by foil, the meat gave off the most ready-made amazing gravy: it was rich, thick and plentiful. No need to do anything but scrape the pan to release all those little burnt bits to get even more flavour
- To make a bit more, add a bit of water from the vegetables or a bit of stock and a splash of wine. Reduce to the desired consistency
The meat should be falling off the bones by now. Carve it and serve with vegetables (Jacqui suggests some seasonal greens), and also with roast potatoes or mash, or maybe with Jean’s delicious Potato and Spinach Gratin.
A handy tip for keeping food warm while you gather the various components of a roast dinner: pre-heat the plates in the oven for 4-5 minutes before serving