Helen used to love cooking a roast and getting the family round the table. It’s something she misses now her boys are grown up and have left home. But this weekend, they’re all back for her special salsa verde-crusted leg of lamb served with a heap of delicious greens. She can't wait to have her sons back... but just for a couple of weeks!
- Preheat the oven to gas 9, 240°C, fan 220°C. Put the lamb in a roasting tin and rub with salt and 1 tsp oil. Roast for 30 mins to colour.
- Reduce the oven temperature to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Add the beef stock to the tin, cover with foil and roast for 1 hr.
- To make the salsa verde crust, mix the herbs, anchovies, capers, garlic, lemon juice and 2 tbsp oil.
- Remove the tin from the oven, then increase the heat to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Remove the foil and brush the mustard over the lamb. Stir the breadcrumbs into the crust mix and press into the mustard covering the lamb; roast uncovered for 30 mins.
- For the greens, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan over a medium heat. Cook the garlic for 1 min. Add the spinach, cover, and reduce the heat. Once wilted, remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Cover; set aside.
- In a pan of boiling water, simmer the beans for 3-4 mins until tender. Drain, season and stir in the herbs and 1 tbsp oil. Toss with the spinach and set aside.
- Remove the lamb from the tin and rest for 15 mins. Heat the gravy to pack instructions. Serve the lamb and greens with the gravy and mint sauce.
This recipe can also be made using a half leg of lamb, or a whole shoulder. Here’s how to calculate the right cooking time for the weight of your joint:
Half leg of lamb – cook for 25 mins per 450g (1lb), plus 25 mins extra
Whole shoulder of lamb – cook for 35 mins per 450g (1lb), plus 25 mins extra
All the oven temperatures should stay as stated above. Cook for 30 mins uncovered, at the start, as instructed in step 1, and 30 mins at the end, once you’ve added the salsa verde crust, as instructed in step 4. Reduce the middle cooking time (when the lamb is covered), as necessary, in order to reach the total cooking time calculated for the joint.
Pair this lamb with a rich red wine like finest* Argentinian Malbec, £7.50.
Any leftover lamb is great in a wrap with some houmous and crumbled feta for lunch the next day.
As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.
For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.