Slow-roast leg of spring lamb with wild garlic and sweet spices

5-24 hours
8

Ingredients

For the lamb

  • 2.5kg leg of lamb
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled & cut into thick slices
  • 5 carrots
  • 3 onions
  • Salt & pepper

For the marinade

  • 1 handful wild garlic or fresh garlic chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 5 tbsp olive oil

For the gravy

  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 600ml lamb stock (cube is fine)
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

To serve

  • 1.5kg Jersey Royals
  • 1kg baby spring vegetables

This is perfect if you want time to chat to everyone, as most of the work is done in advance. Marinate for up to 24 hours, then pop in the oven at breakfast time on feast day. Lamb cooked like this is deliciously rich, so simple fresh baby vegetables make the perfect accompaniments.

Method

  1. Up to 24 hours in advance, make small incisions all over the lamb with the point of a knife and stuff with garlic slices. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix the wild garlic or garlic chives, spices, wine and olive oil together.
  3. Put the lamb into a plastic bag (a larger freezer bag is ideal) and sit the bag in a large bowl or dish. Pour the marinade into the bag and make sure the lamb is coated on all sides. Refrigerate and turn the meat as often as you can while it marinates.
  4. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas Mark 2.
  5. Peel the carrots and onions, chop into chunky pieces and scatter over a large roasting tin. Place the lamb on top and pour over the marinade. Roast slowly in the oven for 4½ hours, basting with the marinade several times. Remove from the oven, and put the lamb and vegetables on a warm serving platter. Wrap tightly with foil and rest for 30 minutes while you lightly boil the Jersey Royals and other veg, and make the gravy.
  6. To make the gravy, skim off any fat from the roasting tin and place it on the hob over a medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour, stir for a few minutes, then add the stock a little at a time. Let it bubble for a few minutes before adding the redcurrant jelly and stir until it’s completely dissolved. Season to taste and serve.
  7. Unwrap the lamb and serve with the Jersey Royals and baby spring vegetables.