Easter Sunday roast leg of lamb
Why lamb is the traditional meat for Easter Sunday and how to cook the perfect roast, with spring greens, roast potatoes and just-coming-into-season wild garlic salsa verde
Traditionally, it’s fish on Good Friday, roast lamb on Easter Sunday and (in our house) as much chocolate as you can neck throughout. But why lamb? Lamb has religious associations – with the origins of Jewish Passover and the concept of Jesus as the ‘lamb of God’ – and more practically, centuries ago lamb would have been one of the first fresh meats available at Easter. “Course, it’s absolutely delicious, too. Whatever the reason, lamb is still the go-to meat for this celebration.
Here’s an easy-to-follow recipe from Coombe Farm Organic, producers of organic, sustainable and ethical meat, fish and other foodstuffs near Crewkerne, which puts roast leg of lamb with spring greens, roast potatoes and just-coming-into-season wild garlic salsa verde.
- 2.5kg leg of lamb (on the bone)
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 bulb of garlic
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and halved
- 300g spring greens, washed and finely sliced
- Handful each of fresh basil, parsley, mint and wild garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp capers, chopped
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Bring the meat to room temperature, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6 and place a large roasting tray inside.
- In a mixing bowl, add half of the chopped rosemary, lemon zest, four cloves of crushed garlic, olive oil and mix. This is your marinade.
- Season the lamb well with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt and coat on all sides with the marinade. Place in the oven directly on a wire rack above the tray.
- Parboil the potatoes in salted water, drain and allow to steam dry. Then add them to the hot tray along with the remaining rosemary, whole garlic cloves, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Return the tray to the oven, place under the meat, allowing the potatoes to catch the lamb cooking juices.
- Cook for 1.5 hours to achieve pink, tender meat. If you have a meat thermometer, aim for a internal temp of around 60-65°C for medium rare. If you prefer it slightly more done, aim for 65-70°C
- Whilst the lamb is cooking, sauté the spring greens in a saucepan with a little olive oil and seasoning until tender and vibrant green.
- To make the salsa verde, put the herbs, capers, wild garlic, mustard and red wine vinegar into a mixing bowl. Slowly start adding olive oil, whisking until you have the desired consistency.
- Once the lamb is cooked, remove from oven and allow to rest for around 15-20 minutes.
- Serve with the roast potatoes, spring greens and salsa verde.