A leg of lamb on Easter Sunday is a must for any meat-lover. This year with lockdown it will have to be on a much smaller scale as no big family gathering, but I am still doing slow-roast lamb so I can look after the kids as the wife is working as a Pharmacist and the Government have insisted they open all weekend to avoid pressure on the hospitals.
So this meal is aimed for a family of four, 2 adults and 2 small children (who will likely be full with Easter Eggs). True to my Irish upbringing, I always prefer to cook extra and have leftovers, rather than leave people hungry. Slow-roast lamb means it will be soft and juicy and fall apart easily. This recipe contains alcohol for flavour but it burns off, you can skip it if you prefer.
- Prep Time – 30 minutes
- Cook time – 4 hours
- Meat resting time – 30 minutes
If you are using a meat therometer it’s 55˚C for rare, 57 ˚C for medium rare and 60 ˚C for medium. You can overcook slow roast lamb and the beef stock is there to stop it drying out.
It’s important to note that meat with a bone takes longer to cook, and if you raise the temperature later for roast potato you should take this into account, and ideally turn the heat up as the meat is resting.
Boneless lamb great joint – 800G
I large onion
2 cloves of Garlic
200ml Red wine or Port (white wine also works) – Replace with water is not using.
100ml beef stock
Wholegrain Mustard (optional)
- Heat oven to 120C/fan 100C/gas ½. Score any fat and season with salt and pepper, and stuff a rosemary twig and garlic clove in either end.
- Fine a large lid Casserole dish that easily fits the joint. I use Le Creuset but this is not required. Heat the dish with oil and brown all sides of the joint. This is purely cosmetic as without this it will cook, just not look as appealing. It’s not just kids that are put off their dinner by appearance.
- Once nicely brown take the meat out and put it on the side. Peel and slice the onion into 4 2cm slices and put in the center of the dish. This is to put the meat on and I do this with all roasts to help the heat get under the meat. Plus, it can be blended into the gravy. Peel and chop the carrots into quarters and put around the onions. This is optional but they really absorb all the flavour. Put the meat on top of the onions and add a layer of mustard on top of the lamb (optional). Pure the wine and stock over the meat to add to the flavour. I like to use Port, firstly as it stains the meat, but secondly it brings a rich sweetness to the meat and gravy.
- Bring to the boil, put the lid on and move in the oven. After 5 hrs the meat will be cooked and offer no resistance to the knife. As always with cooked meat, juices should run clear once cooked.
- I always work backwards when cooking a roast. I set a reverse timer for when we are going to eat and work to meet that time.
- Start the roast potatoes 90 mins before you want to eat. See a recipe for perfect roast potatoes which complements this very well and also uses rosemary and garlic. Bear in mind this means the oven temperature will go up, so depending on how the meat is looking, you will need to factor this in unless you have 2 ovens.
- 30 minutes to go, this is most likely when you will start on your side vegetables. I am pairing this meal with Fried Asparagus and Boiled Spring Greens. It will take no more than 15 minutes in this instance.
- When you are ready, transfer the meat to a plate and cover with tin foil. If cooked correctly the meat will fall apart which will make carving very easy. Take out the carrots and a knife should easily slide in. Strain the sauce into a pan and boil the liquid to reduce. Alternatively, you can just put gravy powder in to thicken it up and not use any stock.
- Serve up and enjoy.