Roast leg of lamb holds a very special place at the Australian dinner table. Especially on a Sunday. So much so that earlier this month roast lamb won first place in Australia’s National Dish campaign. Deeply ingrained in our national psyche. Remember the successful 1990 TV commercial? Tag line. Lamb Roast. Better Than a Date with Tom Cruise. Or Naomi Watts thought so when she turned down a date with then “it” boy Tom Cruise to attend her family lamb roast dinner.
Personally I find there is nothing more inviting than a leg of lamb roasting in the oven. On a bed of herbs and vegetables. Scented with lemon, garlic and rosemary. Aromatherapy for the home. Here is a recipe for my family’s favourite Sunday roast leg of lamb. A real crowd pleaser and very easy to prepare.
Sunday Roast Leg of Lamb. Scented With Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary.
2 kg best quality leg of lamb
1 bulb garlic, 3 cloves peeled and crushed, the others left whole
1 small bunch fresh rosemary, half the leaves removed and coarsely chopped, half in sprigs
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 chopped carrots
3 chopped parsnips
2 onions , cut into quarters
PREHEAT oven to 200 C.
MAKE a marinade by mixing together the crushed garlic, chopped rosemary, lemon zest and olive oil.
SEASON the lamb leg with salt and pepper and rub the marinade into it.
MAKE a bed of the carrots, parsnips, onions, whole cloves garlic and rosemary sprigs in the bottom of the roasting tin. Place the leg of lamb on top.
ROAST in 200 C oven for about an hour and 15 minutes for pink, or an hour and a half for well done. Remove from oven onto a plate and cover with foil. Rest for 20 minutes before serving. Carve and serve with roast potatoes and gravy.
To Make a Gravy From Pan Juices
Place the roasting tin directly over medium heat. Add a bottle of good red wine, scraping the crunchy bits off the base of the tin. Bubble until reduced by at least half. Add 500 ml stock and any pan juices caught on the plate leg of lamb is resting on. Simmer on low for 5 or so minutes then pass through a sieve to remove vegetable and herb solids.