Tuesday, November 15

Roast Leg of Lamb

I love the cookbook Jamie's Dinners, it's sort of my go to anytime I'm blanking on dinner ideas. There's nothing about it that's really flashy or eye catching but the more I use it the more I realize how realistic and wonderful the recipes are; they always work, they're never beyond my skill level and (most importantly!) they're always, always delicious. I especially love the way he cooks large pieces of meet, the method and ingredients tend to be simple and fresh but the result is terribly impressive (have I spoken of his roast beef? It's sort of legendary in my family). I made this lamb recipe this past summer on the barbecue but it works equally well in a regular oven (I like the barbeque since there's a little less clean up that way).

Roast Leg of Lamb with Chickpeas from Jamie's Dinners

1 leg of lamb, butterflied and opened up like a book
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled
large bunch of fresh cilantro
large bunch of fresh mint, chopped
1 x 14 oz. can of chickpeas, drained
salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1/2 a lemon (or more if you like lemons as much as me)
1 x 500ml tub of natural yogurt
12 baby turnips, scrubbed
2 yams peeled and cut into large chunks
a bunch of baby carrots, scrubbed, tops left on
1 butternut squash, unpeeled, cut into 8 wedges
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
1 whole bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
extra virgin olive oil
  • in a food processor or using a mortar and pestle blitz/grind together : coriander (fresh & seeds), mint, garlic, chickpeas until they form a thick paste. Then mix in yogurt, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sore the lamb on both sides. Add half the yogurt mixture to a large plastic bag and then add in the lamb. Seal the bag and massage the mixture into lam until the lamb is completely coated. Marinate in fridge like this for at least an hour or up to 24 hrs. Keep reserved yogurt mixture for later.
  • Set oven to 200C/400F. Place carrots, turnips, yams, squash, onions and garlic in a roasting dish. Drizzle on olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle on cumin seeds and cinnamon and mix so vegetables are well coated in oil and spices. Place in the oven on a lower rack.
  • Remove lamb from marinade and place directly on oven rack above roasting vegetables (so they catch all the delicious lamb drippings!). Smear reserved yogurt mixture on top of lamb so it is thickly coated on top. I like to save a little more to serve with later too).
  • Roast for about 1 hour. Stir the vegetables on or twice throughout (if they're aren't crisp enough on top leave them in under the broiler for a moment before serving).
  • Slice lamb and serve along side roasted vegetables and a little yogurt sauce!

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