I just adore spring lamb; it has such a delicate flavour. This recipe uses marmalade to bring a tasty smooth and citrusy flavours to the lamb. Add a tsp of harissa or some cumin, chili or smoked paprika if you love spices. Serve with cheesy chive mashed potato gratin and honey glazed carrots with bacon and mustard, recipes below.
- 2 tbsp orange marmalade
- 1 tbsp mint, chopped
- 1 leg of lamb (approx. 2kg /4lb 8oz)
- 1 bulb of garlic, halved horizontally
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
- Salt and pepper to season
For the mint sauce gravy:
- 1 tbsp flour
- 300ml lamb stock or vegetables stock
- 50g butter
- 1 tsp mint sauce
For the cheesy chive mashed potato gratin:
- 150g crème fraiche
- 75g butter, melted
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 onions, chopped
- 150g cheddar, grated (100g +50g)
- 150g mozzarella, grated (100g +50g)
- 800g mash potato
- 100g panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp chives, chopped
- Salt and pepper
For the honey glazed carrots with bacon and mustard:
- 100g bacon, diced into ¼-inch pieces
- 6 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp chives, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- In a bowl or large container, combine the marmalade with the mint, and seasoning.
- Slit a few small opening in the leg with a knife and add half of the garlic pieces.
- Spread the marmalade mixture over the leg and marinate for 2-3 hours minimum or overnight if possible.
- On a large roasting tray arrange large chunks of the carrots, rest of the garlic and onions to form a trivet to raise the meat off the roasting tray.
- Place the leg on top of the vegetables.
- Drizzle with some oil and transfer in the oven.
- Roast in the oven for 1-1½ hours (15 minutes per 1lb/450g for rare and 20 minutes for medium) adding an extra 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and lift the leg on a board. allow the meat to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving to allow the meat to rest and for the juices to settle.
- In the meantime, if desired prepare the gravy.
- Remove excess oil from the tray and place on your cooker / hob over medium heat.
- Sprinkle some flour and cook, stirring , for a minute until the flour starts to colour.
- Add some stock to deglaze the vegetables and flour mixture. Bring to simmer for a minute and remove from the heat.
- Pass through a sieve into a smaller saucepan and check the seasoning.
- Stir in the butter and a little of mint sauce.
- Once the lamb has rested, carve and serve with your favourite sides and drizzle of the mint sauce gravy.
For the gratin:
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C. In a large bowl, combine the crème fraiche, butter, egg yolk, garlic, onions, ¾ of the grated cheddar and mozzarella and ½ of the chives.
- Stir in the mash potatoes. Season well with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture in a gratin dish.
- In a second bowl, combine the breadcrumb, the rest of the chive and the leftover of grated cheeses. Season well.
- Sprinkle the mixture over the mash potato gratin. Add a few extra dots of fresh butter if desired.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until piping hot and golden brown on the top. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
For the carrots:
- In a wide saucepan, sauté the bacon over medium heat until just coloured.
- Add the carrots with the honey, mustard and vinegar and enough stock or water to just cover the carrots. Season to taste.
- Cover with a cartouche or a lid and bring to the boil, then cook over a moderate to high heat for about 12 minutes until the carrots are tender and all of the liquid has evaporated, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to keep warm until needed.
- Just before serving, sprinkle the chives over the carrots, toss to coat. Serve immediately.