Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Easter dinner: Juniper & garlic lamb

on April 2, 2013

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I had a leg of lamb in the freezer from our lovely lady who brings us eggs. She has a small farm and also rears pigs, ducks, geese and sheep. I try to get meat from her when I can as it’s always so much more delicious than anything from the supermarket – much like her wonderful deep yellow yolk eggs.

As it was Easter I thought I’d make the lamb. I found a simple recipe on the bbcgoodfood website, here and didn’t alter very much from it. The only thing was my leg was smaller, at about 1.5kg so I altered the times accordingly.

The recipe suggests Welsh onion cake to go with it, and that was very simple and delicious too, recipe is here and I did some sweet and sour Italian style carrots from my Italian Comfort Food cookbook.

I found this pretty easy for a roast and didn’t take that long either. All done within about 1.5-2 hours from the start. And the meat was delicious, so tender, cooked perfectly and the onion cake went with it really well.

There’s plenty of meat leftover too, which I’ll make into curry or tagine I think.

Juniper and garlic lamb with Welsh onion cake

Serves 4

  • Small leg of lamb – approx 1.5kg (if larger adjust times accordingly)
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • handful of sage leaves, chopped (or use rosemary if you have it)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil.
  • 800g potatoes, peeled
  • 400g onions (2 large ones approx), finely sliced.
  • 70g butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 120ml white wine
  1. Bring the lamb leg up to room temperature
  2. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius.
  3. Crush the juniper berries and peppercorns in a pestle and mortar, then add the garlic, sage or rosemary and olive oil to make a paste.
  4. Cover the lamb in the paste and roast in the middle of the oven for approximately 1 hour for meat which is cooked but still pink in the middle. If you’d like it more well done, add an extra 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven, cover in foil and tea towels and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, put half the melted butter in a pan with the onions and a little salt and cook covered over a low heat until melted and golden – about 20 minutes. Stir them occasionally to make sure they don’t stick and cook evenly.
  7. Slice the potatoes thinly on the long side, and place straight into a bowl with the remaining melted butter. Coat the potatoes in it.
  8. Line a medium sized frying pan with greaseproof paper
  9. Arrange half the potatoes on the bottom of the pan in neat patterns from the outside to the middle, overlapping slightly. Place the onions on top of them and spread them out.
  10. Layer the remaining potatoes over the top of the onions in the same way as before and place on a medium heat on the hob to brown the bottom of the cake, for about 5 minutes.
  11. Then place in the oven with the lamb for about 45-50 minutes or until cooked through and golden.
  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate.
  13. Whilst the lamb is resting, add a tablespoon of flour to the juices in the roasting pan and mix well to combine. Place directly on a medium heat and allow to cook out for a minute or two. Then gradually add the wine mixing well to combine, scraping up any bits from the bottom and not allowing the flour to go lumpy. Bring to the boil, add extra water if it’s too thick, add salt and pepper as needed and simmer until you have a nice gravy.
  14. Carve your meat and serve with the Welsh cake and gravy. Enjoy!

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