Easter Leg of Lamb with Preserved Lemon, Thyme and Potatoes
Photo by Elizabeth Clarkson; David Barker
The long Easter weekend is the ideal time to try roasting a leg of lamb with a lemon twist.
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- Preheat the oven to 200 degC. Trim the lamb of any excess lumps of fat, and make 4 or 5 shallow scores across the surface of the skin on each side. Cut the lemon into tiny dice, and roughly chop the thyme leaves, discarding any stalks.
- Press the lemon and thyme with 2 tablespoons of the oil over the skin of the lamb, making sure some is rubbed into the scored surface. Grind a generous amount of black pepper over the whole leg. Slice the potatoes thickly (about 2-3cm slices), then place them in the bottom of a heavy roasting pan and toss with the remaining oil and the salt. Separate the garlic cloves but leave the skin on and scatter them among the potatoes.
- Place the leg in the centre of the dish, with some potatoes directly underneath, and the rest sitting around the lamb. Pour in the stock and place the dish in the oven. After 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 175°C and cook for 1½ hours. Adjust the time to suit the size of the leg – if it’s more than 2kg, it may need an extra 15-30 minutes.
- If you like your lamb well cooked, take a little longer. Remove the dish from the oven and place the leg and potatoes and most of the garlic on a warmed serving dish. Cover lightly with foil. You may like to turn the oven off and return the lamb there to keep warm while it rests.
- Place the roasting dish over a heated element on the stovetop, and stir the flour into the pan drippings, stirring constantly and adding a little water to make a sauce or gravy. When it is thick and bubbling, it is ready. Carve the lamb into thick slices on the dish, with the potatoes.
- Pour over the gravy and serve with steamed green beans, peas and baby carrots and lemon wedges. Wine match: An intensely savoury Wairarapa pinot noir.