Root vegetables have such a lovely sweet flavour if you part-cook them in boiling salted water, then toss them with olive oil, garlic, salt and thyme before roasting. If you spread them on flat sheets so they are not on top of each other, they will caramelise nicely. After roasting the lamb make sure you rest it. If you slice it before it is well rested you will lose all its juices, making the meat dry”. Serves 5-6.
- 220 1 small leg of lamb, no more than 2kg, boned and butterflied (do this yourself or ask your butcher)
- Leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 6 anchovy fillets (packed in oil), drained and halved
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the vegetables
- 400g carrots, cut in half lengthways
- 2 fennel bulbs, each cut into 8 wedges
- 1 small, ripe onion squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 8 wedges
- 250g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut in half
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 5-6 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp chopped thyme
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Start with the vegetables. Add all of them to a large pan of boiling salted water and bring back to the boil, then cook for 10 minutes. Add the whole garlic cloves to the water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain.
- In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil and thyme. Add the part-cooked vegetables and garlic cloves, season well with salt and pepper, and toss to mix. Line a roasting tray with a piece of greaseproof paper, then spread the vegetables on top. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Trim excess fat from the lamb. Make 12 incisions in the meat using a sharp knife, then fill each with a little rosemary, sliced garlic and anchovy. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Put the tray of vegetables in the oven and roast for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a heavy roasting tin on the hob, add the olive oil and sear the fat side of the butterflied leg of lamb for 2 minutes. Turn the lamb over to briefly brown the other side.
- Transfer the tin to the oven, to join the tray of vegetables. Roast for 25 minutes until the vegetables are caramelised and the lamb is cooked – test with an instant-read thermometer: the internal temperature should be 60ºC for medium-rare.
- Remove the lamb from the oven and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile, turn the oven down low to keep the vegetables warm.
- Slice the lamb and serve with the vegetables and salsa verde drizzled over.
Recipe by Theo Randall