Simply roasted may be a traditional way to enjoy spring lamb, but how about trying as a stuffed leg of lamb.when it is slow roasted with a pungent garlic, parsley and bacon stuffing and, of course, a good sauce.
This recipe for leg of lamb is delicious served hot, maybe as part of your Sunday Roast but this recipe also makes a lovely cold cut for sandwiches and light lunches. So always cook a large leg giving you plenty of leftovers.
Without a doubt, the best time to eat lamb is late spring onwards. Easter (traditionally in early spring) is the traditional time to eat lamb but, personally, I like it a little older. In the early summer and onwards you will also find salt march lamb, which this recipe works really well with.
- 2 ½ lb/ 1.2 kg boneless ½ leg of lamb (1.5 kg if bone still in)
- Large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 2 ½ oz/ 70g cubed pancetta or bacon
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and pepper
- 5 fl oz/ 150ml good red wine
- 3 ½fl oz/ 100ml veal or beef stock
- 2 tsps ice cold butter cut into tiny pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/170°C/Gas mark 4. Remove string from leg of lamb and open out the joint, skin side down. Slash any thick parts of meat so the joint lays flat to the board. If you have bought your lamb with bone in, you will need to cut down the side of the bone to create a cavity for the stuffing - you can ,of course, ask your butcher to this for you.,
- Evenly sprinkle the parsley, garlic and Pancetta over the surface, and then sprinkle generously with the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Roll the joint back up and tie securely with kitchen string.
- Place the joint into a large roasting tin and cook for 1 hour (rare) 1 hour 15 mins for medium. Tightly wrap the joint in foil and leave to rest for 10 mins. (Add 20 minutes to each time for bone-in)
- Meanwhile, carefully pour off any fat from the roasting tin and place it on a medium heat on top of the stove. Pour in the wine carefully scraping up all the juices stuck on the bottom and reduce to a sticky glaze.
- Add the stock to the roasting tin, stir well and reduce by half. Strain through a fine sieve into a small saucepan and add the butter and shake the pan gently until all the butter is absorbed. Check and adjust the seasoning.
- Slice the lamb and serve immediately on a bed of wilted spring greens, surrounded by the sauce.