When it’s my turn to cook dinner for a get-together and I want something fuss-free but still makes an impressive dinner, this is my default meal. Succulent rosemary scented, garlicky roast lamb with rich, red wine gravy, and roast potatoes always goes down a treat. Everything cooks together, and is ready at the same time. Toss together a leaf salad, and it’s a complete meal.
I use a leg of lamb, you need to allow ~1.5kg for 4 adults, ~2kg for 6, ~2.5kg for 8. These sizes will give 200 – 250g of meat per person, which is plenty; you should have extras for fantastic sandwiches the following day.
To roast lamb, allow 30 minutes at 180°C per 500g for medium. I find that if I use the oven to roast potatoes as well, I have to bump up the temperature to 190°C at the end and cook for an extra 20 minutes to crisp up the potatoes. Perfect, as you have to rest the lamb anyway.
~2kg leg of lamb
3 sprigs of rosemary
4 cloves of garlic
sea salt flakes (I use Maldon)
2 tbsp plain flour
½ cup of red wine
80g butter, cubed
sea salt flakes
rosemary leaves (thyme is good as well)
1 garlic bulb, divide into individual cloves (leave skin on)
sea salt flakes
Bring the lamb out of the fridge half an hour before cooking to warm up to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Trim any areas which have thick layers of fat or sinew. Remove the skin from the garlic and halve or cut into similarly sized wedges. Remove the woody stem of the rosemary.
Cut about 10 evenly spaced slits into the lamb, stuff a garlic wedge and rosemary into each ‘pocket’. Sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt flakes, and generous grind pepper over the lamb. Drizzle the lamb leg with good splashes of olive oil.
Roast for 2 hours. Once the lamb is in the oven, I get started on the potatoes/kumara and yams. This roast potatoes recipe results in potatoes which is crunchy on the outside and lovely and soft inside. I like to include yams as these have a slightly sweet, tangy taste, and roast easily, – you just put them in the oven, and leave them to cook.
To bake yams:
Cut 500g of yams into 2 – 2.5cm lengths. Dot butter cubes around the yams. Season with salt and pepper. Bake at 180°C for 90 minutes.
To bake potatoes & kumara:
I portion ½ a large potato and ½ a medium kumara per person, and 1 extra. Peel, wash and dry with a clean tea towel (this is important when you flour your potatoes).
Cut into even chunks, – quarter your potatoes, and use this to guide the size of the kumara pieces. Place two tablespoons of plain flour in a large plastic bag and toss pieces in batches until coated. Roll the pieces in your hands to remove excess flour and place on an oven tray.
Randomly place the herb and garlic cloves around the potato pieces. Splash enough olive oil to coat (~ 3 tbsp, add more if required), toss the pieces in the oil to ensure each piece is mostly coated. Bake at 180°C for 90 minutes. Note that as the oven is loaded, the heat will not be circulating as well (unless you have a convection oven), so you will need to turn the potatoes after 1 hour, and again after 90 minutes.
After 2 hours, take out the lamb to rest. Bring the temperature up to 190°C, and roast the potatoes for another 20 minutes to crisp up.
In the meantime, make the gravy. There should be about 2-3 tablespoon of fat in the pan. If there is more, remove the excess. Sprinkle the 2 tbsp of flour on the fat, and mix well. Place the roasting pan over the smallest element, and turn on low. Add the wine, and scrap all the caramelised bits off the bottom of the pan. Mix well, until you get the consistency you want.