We Aussies love a roast leg of lamb, so much so that it is frequently named Australia’s National Dish. What would therefore be better to serve on your Easter table to family and friends than a beautiful rosemary- and thyme-studded leg of lamb that has been roasted in the oven with thinly sliced boulangère potatoes?
Our dish comprises just a few ingredients and is super-simple to prepare, perfect for entertaining. While it’s in the oven you could be preparing the vegies, making the pud, or simply relaxing with your family. Those two hours of roasting and resting time could be the ideal time to get that Easter egg hunt organised. Just try to wait until after lunch to start demolishing all that chocolate!
- 2kg leg of lamb
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- A few sprigs of rosemary
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 2kg large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 600ml chicken stock
- 50g butter
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (gas mark 5).
- Make several slits all over the skin and flesh of the lamb by piercing it with the point of a sharp paring knife. Stuff each slit with a slice of garlic (ensuring you leave a few slices for later) and a few needles of rosemary leaves before scattering the thyme over the meat.
- Place the lamb in a snug roasting tin, season well with freshly cracked black pepper and salt, loosely cover with foil and leave to one side.
- Rinse the sliced potatoes in cold water, drain well and tip them into a large roasting tin. Toss with the onions, remaining slices of garlic and a good handful of thyme and rosemary.
- Turn the heat on your cooktop to low and heat the stock and butter together in a pan until the butter has completely melted. Pour the buttery stock over the potatoes, mix well again and cover the dish with foil. Place the separate dishes containing the lamb and the potatoes in the oven and bake for 1 hour.
- Uncover the dishes, place the lamb on top of the potatoes and roast uncovered for another 45 minutes.
- Turn the oven off, remove the lamb and allow to rest for around 15 minutes. The potatoes can be left in the cooling oven until they’re ready to be served. If necessary, replace the foil to prevent them from over-browning.
- To serve, slice the lamb and serve with the potatoes and steamed seasonal vegies. Place some pots of mint sauce and redcurrant jelly on the table for guests to help themselves.
Hints and tips
- Be sure to remove the lamb from the fridge in advance of cooking it so that it has time to come up to room temperature as if it is too cold it won’t cook evenly.
- To ensure the meat crisps properly it needs to be really dry so remove any packaging as it comes to room temperature and rub the skin with a little sea salt before preparing it to give it that great crunch.
- Try putting a few chunkily sliced parsnips, carrots or butternut squash in with the potatoes to give the dish more of an autumnal feel and make the most of seasonal root vegies.