Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary pesto

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Roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary pesto

This lovely roast leg of lamb is smothered in its classic companions,
garlic and rosemary, for a fantastic flavour.

Serving instructions
Serves 6-8
Ready in about 21/2 hours


2.5kg leg of lamb
2 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
and roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp plain flour
600ml fresh lamb or chicken stock, hot


1. Preheat the oven to 230°C/fan210°C/gas 8.
Calculate the roasting time.
2. Using a small, sharp knife, make small 2.5cm deep slits
all over the leg, about 5cm apart.
3. Make the garlic and rosemary pesto. Put the rosemary leaves, garlic,
the salt and some freshly ground black pepper into a mini food processor or spice grinder.
Turn on the machine and slowly add enough of the oil to make a smooth paste.
4. Push some of the pesto into each of the slits in the lamb, then rub the outside of the leg
with any of the remaining paste and any remaining oil. Season lightly with a little more
salt and pepper.
5. Put the lamb, rounded-side up, into a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6 and continue to roast for the
rest of the calculated cooking time. For a 2.5kg leg cooked to medium
(so the meat is pink near the bone),
you need to roast it for a further 90 minutes.
6. Remove the lamb from the oven and lift it onto a carving board or large plate,
then cover tightly with a sheet of foil. Leave to rest for 15-20 minutes before you start carving.
7. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Pour away the excess fat from the roasting tin and
place the tin with the lamb juices over a medium heat on the hob.
Sprinkle with the flour and stir for a few seconds with a wooden spoon.
Gradually add the stock and scrape up all of the caramelised juices from the base of the tin.
Leave to simmer gently until it has reduced to a well-flavoured gravy,
then strain into a gravy boat. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and keep hot.

Carve the lamb into slices and serve immediately with the home-made gravy.
Roast lamb goes wonderfully with creamy dauphinoise or roast potatoes
and steamed fine green beans.

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