Making the perfect roast leg of lamb
Easter has been and gone, but roast leg of lamb is not just destined for that long weekend! This roasted lamb leg was what I actually cooked for my Italian side of the family on Easter Sunday. Now, it’s not because we actually celebrate any kind of religious holiday, but my husband’s parents and some of his cousins and his uncle happened to be over in France for the long weekend to go to the beach, so it was the perfect time to cook up a leg of lamb. We always try to take advantage of the fact that (nearly) everyone is in the same place at the same time, otherwise we’d end up seeing them just at Christmas time.
I already have one recipe for roasting lamb on my blog, but I figure that you can never have too many, right? This one is really easy to do. If you’ve ever felt daunted by the though of cooking such a large piece of meat, this is the recipe for you, and if you’re perfectly comfortable with whipping up a roast, then it’s still a good one as the tomatoes help the lamb to become very juicy and tender.
When rosemary bushes go rogue
The rosemary jungle in the garden is getting out of hand again, so whenever I can I try to throw a few sprigs of the herb into things I’m cooking. It’s a shame you can’t use more than a couple of sprigs at a time. I need a recipe for rosemary jam, or rosemary liqueur where you use kilos of the stuff. The problem is that they would taste really revolting……
I used a little bit of it to rub the lamb with, and when I snipped it off one of the bushes, the bush looked as if it was laughing at me…..I can see a horror movie plot in which rosemary bushes take over everything and destroy houses all around them. It may be a slow-moving movie, as they don’t grow that fast, but eventually (when the audience is asleep), the plants would triumph and take over the world!
Travel photo of the week
This one is from New Zealand. These are actually not trees, but are large ferns called punga. They’re scattered all through the forest(or “bush” as you call it in NZ) in Northland, which is the area I grew up in. The punga is a very important plant for New Zealand as it is the symbol you see on the jerseys of the All-Blacks (do I need to explain who they are?), the logo for NZ butter, and possibly the symbol that it going to be on the new New Zealand flag , if they ever change it.
By Lisa Watson
Roasted lamb leg with tomatoes
- 1 Leg of Lamb
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 3 – 4 sprigs Rosemary
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 750 g Cherry Tomatoes 1 1/2 lbs
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Take the leg of lamb out of the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook it.
- Heat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
- Peel and slice the garlic cloves. Wash the rosemary, dry it, then scrape a knife over it to crush the leaves a little.
- Put the garlic slices and rosemary in 1/4 of a cup of olive oil. Rub this mixture all over the lamb.
- Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes.
- Cover the bottom of the roasting pan with a thin layer of olive oil, then place the lamb leg in the pan. Arrange the cherry tomatoes around the lamb.
- Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 130ºC (260ºF). Baste the leg of lamb with the juices from the bottom of the pan every 20 minutes. Cook it for another 1 1/2 – 2 hours depending on how done you like your lamb.
- Slice the lamb and serve it with the tomatoes and juice on top of it.