This delicious recipe from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver with notes of garlic, mint and fennel is a great twist on a classic roast lamb recipe. Dare to be different this Easter and have all your guests singing your praises.
- 1 quality leg of lamb, about 2kg
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large bunch fresh mint leaves, picked
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 125ml olive oil
- 250ml organic chicken stock
- 600g new potatoes, sliced thickly
- 100g baby fennel, trimmed and cut in half lengthways
- 225g baby carrots, tops trimmed
- 100g baby leeks, trimmed
- 200g courgettes, sliced lengthways
- 250g fine or yellow beans, trimmed
- 150g asparagus, trimmed to 6cm lengths
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.
- Score the lamb all over and season. Using a pestle and mortar, or in a food processor, pound or blend the mint leaves with the garlic and seasoning until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil to your mixture then brush all over the lamb. Roast in the oven for 1½ hours, brushing with the seasoned oil regularly until the lamb is cooked.
- While the meat is resting, remove the fat from the roasting tin. Add the stock to the tin and make a light, tasty broth by boiling and dissolving all the goodness at the bottom.
- Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling, salted water for 5 minutes. Add the fennel and carrots and cook for a further 5 minutes. Then add the rest of the vegetables and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Carve your lamb then serve the vegetables in a shallow bowl with the lamb on top and a little broth and mint oil drizzled over.
When it comes to thinking about what wine goes with Lamb there is one golden rule to follow… always pick red. White and rose wine can rarely do justice to the rich and delicious flavours of lamb, so a red wine should be your choice for your wine pairing with lamb.
The main exceptions are some Indian or Greek-style dishes which can have a strong lemon component as well as yoghurt or feta and mint. In these cases, stronger dry rosés are a good option.
Almost all red wines will enhance the flavours of a beautiful lamb dish, but some go with certain dishes more than others. Lamb has a natural affinity with two grapes – Cabernet Sauvignon (a good Bordeaux will work here) and Tempranillo. A Spanish oak-aged Rioja also goes particularly well with garlic and mint.
If you prefer a more delectable, perfumed wine modern labels from New Zealand or Chile are fantastic but are a little on the pricey side. However, Easter is surely a time for a treat so indulge. Salut!