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Roast lamb with carrots and garlic


It’s been ages since I’ve cooked roast lamb. I forgot how unctuous, warming and meaty it can be. I think the real trick to the lamb on the weekend was that it was salt marsh lamb, which gave it  herb and heather notes without having to do much! Of course, non salt is fine too. And I have to say, cheap pork is yuck, but even cheap lamb from New Zealand tastes ok (environment, food miles etc aside – and taste is the final arbiter)

The English like their leg of lamb, but they miss a trick with the fattier and so more melting (and to my mind tastier) shoulder. Yes, it is harder to carve, but that’s OK. Just practise or have more bits for leftovers (pitti panna – a swedish dish is yum with leftover lamb).

(Salt marsh) lamb (2kg shoulder)

Garlic, rosemary

Small carrots


Honey (optional)

Salt, pepper.

Preheat oven to high, 220c. Spike the lamb with a knife and stud the garlic and rosemary all over. Anywhere between 10 to 20 studs will do. (If you like it even more garlicky lay some cloves – shell on is fine – under the joint when roasting as well). If it looks like it’s not that fatty – which with shoulder would be a surprise but salt march lamb can be very active – then also lightly oil (olive or rapeseed). Generously season with salt and pepper.

Roast on high for around 20 minutes. Up to 30 minutes for a huge joint and maybe 15 mins for a very small one.

Then I pour over a glass or two of marsala, enough to have a good 1cm in the tray, and add the carrots. If don’t like carrots with a tiny bit of bite, you can add them earlier (more bite add them later). A touch of honey on the carrots if you have a sweet tooth (like DB). Turn the over down to 170c / medium and roast for another 1 hour for medium rare (meat thermometer is useful) and rest for at least 20 minutes. If you can be bothered/remember the occasional basting won’t go amiss.

Serve with coucous or perhaps a baked potato if you’re not doing the roast potato thing. The juices and reduced marsala make the gravy, which if you want to thicken you can boil down or add arrow root to. (Arrow root much better than flour as a thickener).

Our lamb came out melting, almost didn’t need a knife (which would be more typical of a 4 to 5 hours very low fire roast). The carrots absorbed the lamb and garlic flavour and I also had some aubergine on the side.

Even the 8 month year old approved.

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