Not just for Easter!
- 3kg (6½lb) leg of lamb, preferably at room temperature
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tblsp dried rosemary
- ½ tsp ground salt
- 1 tblsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tblsp rapeseed oil
- Wilted spinach with garlic, steamed baby new potatoes tossed in chopped fresh mixed herbs (mint, chives and flat-leaf parsley) and spiced red currant compote, to serve
- For the Spiced Red Currant Compote:
- 75g (3oz) sugar
- Pinch of dried chilli flakes
- 1 cinnamon stick, crushed into tiny pieces or 1 tsp ground
- 200g (7oz) red currants, removed from stalks
- Good splash ruby red port
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), Gas mark 7. Remove as much of the surface fat as practical from the lamb. Mix the garlic and dried rosemary with the salt and pepper and rapeseed oil; then rub all over the leg of lamb.
- Put the smeared lamb on a rack in a roasting tin (you might line the tin first with tin foil to make for an easier clean up). Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4 and roast for another 1½ hours until cooked through and tender but still slightly pink. If in doubt, check the internal temperature of the lamb with an instant-read thermometer. Continue to check every 10 minutes; when it reaches 130F for medium rare (125F for very rare in its thickest part (check it in several places), it's done.
- Transfer the leg of lamb to a carving platter and cover loosely with foil, then leave to rest in a warm place for 15-20 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Carve into slices and arrange on warmed plates
- Carve the lamb into slices and arrange on warmed serving plates with the new potatoes and a spoonful of the red currant compote. Add some spinach to each plate to serve.
- For the Spiced Red Currant Compote, place the sugar in a small, heavy-based pan with two tablespoons of water. Cook over a gentle heat for a couple of minutes, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Increase the heat, bring to the boil and add the chilli and cinnamon, then boil fast for 1 minute. Add the red currants with the port, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the berries are starting to soften but are still holding their shape. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for a few minutes so that the flavours can combine.
More by Neven Maguire:
- Caramelised Pork Belly, Neven Maguire, Today show
- Moroccan Lamb Tagine: Alternative Easter dinner
- Fragrant Pork, Thai Red Curry: Neven Maguire