“The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity and the fact that it’s all done in one roasting tin,” says chef Mike McEnearney of this recipe from his new book Kitchen by Mike (Lantern; $49.99). “A great way to break up the cooking time is to do the initial high-temperature roasting of the lamb and vegetables the night before. Refrigerate overnight, then when you wake up, turn on the oven at the lower temperature, add the wine to the tin and bring to the boil on the stovetop, then carry on with the recipe. If, on the other hand, it would suit you better to cook the meat for longer, drop the oven temperature by 10°C and this will give you another couple of hours. When you get home, just plonk the potatoes in the roasting tin and dinner will be ready in about an hour.”
Seven hour pot roast leg of lamb with root vegetables
4 carrots, cut lengthways into halves or quarters
4 onions, cut into quarters
1 large garlic bulb, cut in half salt flakes and freshly ground
1 × 2.5 kg lamb leg, on the bone olive oil, for drizzling
750 ml white wine
3 bay leaves
Handful of thyme sprigs
750 g medium-sized potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 220°C.
- Place the carrots, onions and garlic in a heavy-based roasting tin. Season the lamb and place on top, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes. Turn the lamb and give it another 10 minutes, then remove from the oven.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 120°C.
- Add the wine to the tin and bring to the boil on the stovetop, then add the bay leaves and thyme. Cover the tin with a tight-fitting lid or a double layer of foil.
- Return tin to the oven and roast, basting regularly, until the meat is soft and falling off the bone, which will take 6–7 hours.
- About 1½ hours before the end of the roasting time, peel the potatoes and cut them in half lengthways. Using a very sharp knife, carefully make closely spaced slits crossways almost to the base of each potato half, to make hasselback potatoes.
- Nestle the potatoes into the tin, placing them fin-side up: the cooking juices should come about halfway up the potatoes; if not, add a little water to the tin. Cover and roast for 30 minutes, then remove the lid or foil and baste the lamb and the potatoes. Increase the oven temperature to 180°C and roast for another 30 minutes or until the fins of the potatoes are browned and crisp.
- Serve the lamb on a platter, pulling the meat into chunks using a fork and spoon, and place the veggies on a separate platter. Strain the cooking juices into a sauceboat or jug and serve alongside.