A low risk, cook-it-for-ages-and-it’s-still-pink leg of lamb that offers big returns for little effort. The image above was taken about two thirds of the way through the cooking, so the finished result is a little more lip-stickingly caramelised and gooey on top. I use Marky Market for my lamb, and it’s second to none.
The night before
1 small tin of anchovies, complete with oil
2tbsp white wine vinegar
1tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 sprigs of rosemary, just the needles, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
I leg of lamb, as good as you can afford.
Mix all of the ingredients together, and smush a bit to break up to anchovies and bruise some flavour out of the onion. Make some slits in the fat of the lamb, being careful not to damage the flesh, and rub all over with the marinade. It’s important not to use salt at this stage as it can toughen up the meat. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge overnight – you can do this in the baking tray, as it’s going straight into the oven.
One the day
Take the lamb out of the fridge an hour before cooking to get it up to room temperature, and heat the oven as high as it will go.
Being careful not to dislodge too much of the tasty marinate, cover the lamb with a good slug of olive oil and a generous amount of salt, and add a whole garlic bulb sliced in two lengthways to the baking tray, as a pungent little cushion to the meat. Put into the oven, and immediately turn the temperature down to gas mark 1.5.
After 40 minutes, pour a small glass of wine and a small glass of water over the lamb, being careful to baste the whole thing. Return to the oven for 3-4 hours, basting every 30-45 minutes. After your 3-4 hours is up, turn the temperature up to gas mark 3, sprinkle with a tbsp of sugar and cook for one final hour, basting half way through.
Wrap in foil and tea towels and rest for ONE WHOLE HOUR, while you prat about with your accompaniments and reduce the sauce. Slice and serve, covered in the tasty juices. It should be a very light pink throughout without any runny blood, and the outside should be sticky and amazing. Mmmmmmmmmm.