Easter Recipe: Roast Lamb | Exeter Cookery School, Devon

Roast Leg of Lamb Laced with Wild Garlic

Roast Leg of Lamb Laced with Wild Garlic Recipe

The secret of this spring dish lies in the brief and viciously hot cooking and in the long well-insulated resting. This leaves the joint with a beautifully caramelised outer layer and a pink meltingly tender inside.

A 2kg leg of lamb this size will feed six to eight hungry people, but is also brilliant as a source of cold leftovers.

As with most meat cookery it is important to allow the lamb to come to room temperature before cooking: keep the leg closely wrapped in a clean tea towel in a corner of the kitchen for four hours prior to cooking.

Serves six to eight

1 whole 2kg leg of lamb at room temperature
A bunch of wild garlic leaves
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Method
    Pre-heat the oven to 240°C.
  • Gather a few old but clean towels, blankets, bed-spreads or sleeping bags – in fact, anything that has good insulating properties.
  • Tear the wild garlic into 3 cm pieces.
  • Deeply stab the flesh of the lamb with a slim paring knife in about eight places on each side. Push the garlic deep into the cuts.
  • Generously smear the leg with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt and ground black pepper.
  • Position the leg in a deep roasting tray and place into the centre of the oven. Roast for 15 minutes until brown and sizzling (there may be some smoke, but be brave!).
  • Turn the lamb and give it just 8 minutes more, then remove the tray from the oven onto a couple of towels covered with foil. Tightly cover the lamb with more foil, then pile a good layer of towels, etc, on top and leave for one and a half hours. This resting is essential as it allows the lamb to relax as it continues to gently cook. The meat will be pink, but not bloody.
  • Half an hour before the end of resting time, make the gravy: pour the juices from the baking tray into a saucepan and carefully remove and discard any fat. Add a glass of good quality red wine and a dash of port or sweet sherry and boil to reduced by half. Thicken with a small knob of flour and butter paste (Beurre Manié). The gravy shouldn’t need any added salt as there will be enough from the lamb.
  • Strain through a fine sieve and serve.