Easter Slow Roast Lamb with rosemary, garlic, & vine tomatoes



I feel a bit sheepish (l'il lamb joke) to be re-posting this again, but it is such a good Easter recipe it seems silly not to...hope everyone is enjoying a happy Easter :)






1 large whole leg of lamb, bone in, at least 2 kilos
8 sprigs rosemary
8 big garlic cloves, peeled  
juice of half a lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups red wine, hot water or stock


24 medium small vine tomatoes, still attached
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)


At least half an hour before you start, take your lamb out of the fridge. Set the oven temperature to 160˚C (320˚F) and make sure you set the oven rack for the lamb low enough in the oven that you can fit a rack above it, not too close to the top of the oven, for your tomatoes to be added later.  Use  a small sharp knife to make 8 deep cuts in the top fat-side of the lamb. Poke a garlic clove into each of these holes. Rip off a few bits of rosemary and poke them in the same holes - it will look a bit messy, but no worries. Put the rest of the rosemary in a big roasting dish and lay the leg, fat side up, on top. Squeeze over the lemon juice and season really well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pop into the oven and forget about it for four and a half to five hours. When your lamb has about half an hour left, put the tomatoes in another oven dish, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pop in the oven for around 40 minutes. By the time you have made your (optional) gravy, they should be ready.

After four and a half hours (five if it is truly massive) take the lamb out of the oven, transfer it to a serving dish or board and cover with tin (aluminum) foil, shiny side down, and a tea towel on top, to keep it warm. While it is resting, remove the bits of rosemary that aren't glued to the roasting dish, pour off most of the excess fat and put the roasting pan on the stove top over a low heat. Add the flour (less or more depending on how thick you like your gravy) and use a wooden spoon to stir the flour around the pan, digging up all the brown bits which carry all of the flavour. Once this forms a paste slowly add your liquid, stirring all the time, and cooking until a smooth, rich gravy is formed. Season well with sae salt and freshly ground black pepper. If the gravy misbehaves just whisk it into submission until it de-lumps...I promise it will work. Traditionally hot cooking water from the likes of drained minted peas is used for a gravy, so this is an option as is the red wine, for a richer, darker gravy. Once the gravy is made your tomatoes will be ready - and it's time to carve! I  served this for Mother's Day last year with crispy roasted potatoes crusted in polenta, and zucchini and beans with garlic, lemon and parsley, and another time recently with watercress and beetroot salad, roasted baby carrots and celeriac and potato mash....the options are endless :) Serves 8




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