If you have time, stud the lamb a day in advance to allow the flavours to really permeate the meat.
leg of lamb weighing 2½ kg/5lb 8oz
1 garlic bulb
1 bunch rosemary
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 carrots, cut into large chunks
1 onion, cut into quarters
1 glass red wine (about 150ml)
1.2l beef or lamb stock
The first job is to stud the lamb with garlic and rosemary. Use a sharp pointed knife, make at least 30 small incisions all over the meat. Peel 4 garlic cloves, thinly slice them and prod a slice into each incision. Next, pull off small sprigs of rosemary and push into the incisions, too. If done in advance, cover the lamb well and refrigerate. Remove from the fridge 1 hr before roasting.
Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Heat a large frying pan, add a little oil and brown the lamb all over.
Scatter the carrot, onion, remaining garlic and rosemary in a large roasting tin, pour in the wine and stock, then place the browned lamb in the tin.
Roast for about 1 hr 45 mins. Turn the lamb halfway through so by the time it’s cooked, each side has been in the stock. When cooked, remove the lamb and allow to rest in a warm place covered in foil for about 30 mins.
While the lamb is resting, make the gravy. Pour all the stock from the tin through a sieve into a saucepan to remove all the vegetables and herbs. This stock should be rich, slightly thick and have a great lamb flavour. Reduce it a little on the hob if you feel you want to concentrate the flavour, skimming off any fat that comes to the surface.
Serve the lamb with the gravy, potatoes (see ‘Goes well with’), leeks and butternut squash (see below).
SOURCE: BBC Good Food, by Paul Merrett