This is a roast lunch with a Greek twist – I just love
the way fresh oregano works with the rich flavours of lamb, so when Welsh Lamb
got in touch and asked me if I fancied creating a recipe with their boned,
rolled leg cut, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out a stuffing
mix that would combine those lovely flavours. For a bit of a change, I served
it with buttery mash instead of roast potatoes, and a rich red wine reduction.
Boned rolled leg of lamb (the one I used was about 1.1 kg)
3 thick slices of white bread
A handful of fresh oregano
For the red wine
A large glass of red wine
1 tbsp Bisto gravy powder
You’ll also need
butcher’s twine or other suitable string, to truss the lamb for cooking
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan).
Start by making the stuffing for the lamb. First, use a
pestle and mortar to combine the oregano, peeled and chopped garlic, sea salt,
walnuts and a splash of olive oil, to make a thick pesto. Then, cut the crusts
off the bread and dip it briefly into a bowl of cold water, before squeezing
out the excess. Mix well with the pesto to make a thick, fluffy stuffing.
To prepare the lamb, snip off the string holding it in a
roll and open it out flat. Imagine a dividing line running between the two long
sides at the halfway point, and on one side of it, pile the stuffing, making
sure it doesn't go all the way up to the edge. Fold the meat back over and
truss firmly in both directions so that it will keep its shape as it cooks. Place
on a roasting tray and pop in the oven. It needs to cook for 20 minutes per
450g, plus an extra 20 minutes, and you need to allow it 15 minutes of resting
at the end, so for this 1.1kg piece of lamb, I allowed 1 hour and 25 minutes
for cooking and resting.
When you have about 30 minutes left to go, you need to
start thinking about the mash and the gravy. Peel the potatoes, cut into
chunks, and place in a pan of cold water so that they’re ready to go. Peel the
onion and chop as finely as you can, and get it frying gently in some melted
butter, with the garlic clove (crushed). Once the onions have softened up, add
the red wine with a generous hand and reduce until it’s thick and syrupy.
This is probably the right point to get the potatoes
boiling (drain away the cold water and top up with hot, or it’ll take forever)
and take the lamb out to rest – cover it with tinfoil and then a tea towel so
it stays warm.
When the red wine has reduced by at least half, use the
gravy powder to make up 300ml of gravy and then add it to the pan. Keep the
heat high and reduce the sauce again until it reaches ‘coating consistency’ –
this is the point where it’ll coat the back of a spoon without dripping
straight off again. Strain to remove the onions and then pop back on a low
The potatoes should need about 15 minutes – when they’re
really nice and soft, drain the water and then mash with plenty of butter and cream,
and a good pinch of salt. Serve with slices of just-pink on top and a drizzle
of red wine gravy to finish it all off.
Welsh Lamb has a
PGI, or Protected Geographical Indication, a designation awarded by the European Commission which means that only
lambs born and raised in Wales and slaughtered in HCC-approved abattoirs can be
legally described as Welsh Lamb. That means you’re getting only the very best
meat, raised on beautiful Welsh grazing for the very best taste.