Eating al fresco is, for me, one of the most enjoyable things to do when the sun is shining, sharing food and wine with family and good friends. Particularly special after the long grey winter months that we have in England, and one thing that really gets me in the summery mood is fragrant roast lamb. I think it stems from holidays in Greece, exploring the wonderful landscape, fragrant with the scent of oregano, the warmth of the sun on your back.
As much as I love cooking, I don’t want to spend a sunny day in the kitchen preparing Sunday lunch, so I either barbecue the lamb or cook it slowly in the in the oven.
Crispy roast potatoes and roast vegetables make the perfect accompaniment, and add beautiful Mediterranean colours to your plate.
1 leg of lamb, around 2.3kg
For the spicy rub
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp. sea salt (the flaked kind)
1 tbsp. cumin seed
1 pinch smoked paprika
1 tbsp. dried thyme
2 tbsp. olive oil
- Place all of the rub ingredients except the oil butter in a mini processor and blend; gradually add the oil until you have a thick paste. (If you don’t have a mini processor, you can use a pestle and mortar, crushing the garlic and salt together and then adding the herbs and spices and then the oil as before).
- Place the lamb in a roasting tin and rub all over with the spice mix.
- Place in the oven for 35 minutes.
- Take the lamb out of the oven (make sure you close the oven door, to keep it at a constant temperature) and add the water to the roasting tin, and then baste the lamb with it.
- Roast for 3 hours, basting every hour. If the liquid evaporates too much, just add some more.
- After 3 hours are up, remove the roasting tray from the oven, and rest for 10 minutes.
My Roast Potatoes (serves 6)
1.5 kg Potatoes
4 tbsp. Olive oil
My Secret Kitchen Lemon & Chipotle Spiced Sea Salt (or salt and pepper)
- Bring a large pan of potatoes to the boil and then cook until a fork will scratch the surface of the potatoes and make ridges.
- Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a small pan.
- Drain the potatoes and shake in the pan or in a colander until the edges are ‘roughed up’.
- Drizzle the oil onto the potatoes and toss them a little.
- Place them in a roasting tin and season with My Secret Kitchen Lemon & Chipotle Spiced Sea Salt or salt and pepper.
- Roast for 30 minutes at 160C and then 35 minutes at 200C (or 1 hour at 200C, if you’re not cooking the lamb)
Roast Vegetables (serves 4-6- it depends how hungry you are!)
1 red pepper, cut into chunks
1 orange pepper, cut into chunks
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
2 bunches of asparagus, bending until the woody parts snap off- discard these ends
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 lemon, quartered
A sprinkle of OLD BAY® with Lemon & Herb Seasoning
- Toss all of the vegetables and garlic in olive oil and place in a roasting tin.
- Sprinkle OLD BAY® with Lemon & Herb Seasoning, or salt and pepper.
- Add the lemon quarters to the tin and bake for 30 minutes at 200C until soft and blackened around the edges.
Timetable for the whole meal if you serving it at 1.15pm:
8.30 Preheat the oven at 160C
8.45 Cook the lamb for 35 minutes
9.20 Baste lamb
10.20 Baste lamb
11.20 Baste lamb
11.50 Add potatoes
12.20 Remove lamb and keep warm- turn oven up to 200C
12.25 Add vegetables.
1pm Remove everything from the oven and serve on a platter.
(If the potatoes or vegetables aren’t cooked enough- don’t panic, pour yourself a glass of wine and cook them for a little longer!)