Slow Roast Leg of Lamb with Principaute d'Orange Domaine de Janasse
My father’s Easter lamb is a traditionally anticipated feast. It may be due to the idyllic Devonshire setting, the meat from the farmer next door, the long walk, some good red wine and - most importantly – the slow cooking which, allows you to relax and enjoy the warmth of a large family gathering.
Just pop it in the oven late morning then forget about it - the high fat content of the lamb makes it almost impossible to overcook - and if you prep your gratin in advance it’s hard to get it wrong.
1.8kg Leg of lamb
4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
4 sprigs of Rosemary
2 glasses of marsala or madeira
1 stick of celery
2 red onions
Pre-heat the oven to 220 C
Never take your lamb out of the fridge and bung it straight into the oven – it must be at room temperature, and get the herbs and garlic on it to marinade for at least an hour before roasting.
Make deep incisions into the leg and insert a sliver of garlic and a few spikes of rosemary into each incision. Rub a small amount of olive oil over the leg (you don’t need to slather it, this is just to allow the salt to stick) and sprinkle generously with sea salt all over to help crisp the skin during cooking.
Cut the celery roughly and slice the onions into lemon like wedges and place at bottom of a roasting tin (this enriches the gravy beautifully). Place the leg on top and leave to marinade.
Pop in the oven and blast for 20 mins on the high heat, to get the skin crispy and golden, then turn down to 120 C to allow it to slow roast.
A joint of this size should need around 3hrs - check if you like it pink – and adjust if the leg is larger, but don’t stress, if it looks like its shrinking take it out!
Remove the lamb from the roasting tin, wrap in tea towels or tin foil and rest for fifteen minutes before serving – it is so important to rest the meat.
For the gravy: bring the roasting tin (with onions, celery and cooking juices still in) to a bubbling point, then add the marsala. Using a wooden spoon, scrape around the bottom of the tin and let the gravy bubble away then strain the gravy through a sieve.
Serve with gratin dauphinoise and some seasonal veg (we love rainbow chard) but use what’s available.