Roast Leg of Spring Lamb with Boulangère Potatoes

This dish is hassle free – perfect for a dinner party or Sunday lunch.

Serves 6

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • knob of butter
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1.5kg (3lb) potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
  • 400ml (14fl oz) chicken stock
  • 1.75kg (4lb) leg of lamb
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • wilted spinach, to serv
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).

Method

To make the boulangère potatoes, heat the oil in a frying pan with the butter and sauté the

onions for 3–4 minutes over a medium heat, until softened but not coloured. Season to

taste. Layer the potatoes, onions and thyme leaves in a large roasting tin large enough to fit

the leg of lamb. Season each layer as you go and finish with an attractive overlapping layer

of the potatoes. Pour over the stock and set to one side.

Using a sharp knife, make small incisions all over the lamb and press a garlic slice and a tiny

sprig of the rosemary into each one. Weigh the joint and allow 20 minutes per 450g (1lb)

plus 20 minutes (add a further 20 minutes for well done), then place the lamb carefully on

top of the potatoes in the roasting tin. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature

to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4) and roast for 1 hour 20 minutes for a leg of lamb this size

(1.75kg (4lb)).

Transfer the leg of lamb to a carving platter and cover loosely with foil, then leave to rest for

15 minutes, keeping the boulangère potatoes warm.

To serve, carve the lamb into slices and arrange on warmed serving plates with the boulangère

potatoes and wilted spinach.


Lemon Meringue Pie

As this pastry is so short, it's in danger of breaking up when you are trying to roll it out. If this

happens, try coarsely grating it directly into the tin and then quickly pressing the pastry up the

sides and into the shape of the tin. No one will ever know the difference!

Serves 6–8

Pastry:

  • 175g (6oz) plain flour, extra for dusting
  • 100g (4oz) butter, chilled and diced, extra for greasing
  • 50g (2oz) caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tbsp cream
  • Filling:
  • finely grated rind and juice of 3 lemons
  • 4 tbsp cornflour
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 50g (2oz) butter, softened
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Meringue:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 150g (5oz) caster sugar
  • whipped cream, to serve
  • Method

To make the pastry, place the flour, butter, sugar and salt into a food processor and blend for 20

seconds. Add the egg yolk and cream and blend again until the dough just comes together. Do

not overwork or the pastry will be tough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour.

Thinly roll out the pastry into a buttered 20cm (8in) fluted loose-bottomed flan tin that’s about

3cm (1 ¼in) deep. Trim the edges and prick the base with a fork, then chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).

Line the pastry case with tin foil or non-stick parchment paper and a thin layer of baking beans.

Bake for 15–20 minutes, until golden. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F/gas mark

4). Remove the pastry case from the oven and carefully remove the foil and beans, then return to

the oven for 3–5 minutes, until lightly golden. Meanwhile, to make the filling, place the lemon rind and 400ml (14fl oz) of water in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Strain out and discard the lemon rind and then stir in the lemon juice. Blend the cornflour with a little of the lemon liquid to form a smooth paste, then add to the pan with the sugar and stir well. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until combined. Leave to cool a little and then beat in the egg yolks. Return to a low heat and cook for another 6–8 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Pour into the pastry case and leave to cool completely.

Once cool, make the meringue. Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk into soft peaks,then gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time to make a stiff, glossy meringue. Spoon on top of the filling, spreading it out to make sure it makes a good seal with the pastry edge. Swirl the top of the meringue wit h the tip of a knife and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden and

crisp on top. Leave to cool slightly and then carefully remove the tart from the tin and leave to
cool for up to 2 hours – any longer and the meringue will start to weep.
To serve, cut the lemon meringue pie into slices and arrange on serving plates with dollops of
whipped cream.