Roast lamb has always been one of my favourite dishes ever since I was a child. It used to be synonymous with really large parties held by family friends who would rent large canopies, large round tables and plastic chairs to accommodate their guests. Of course, these parties would also mean copious amounts of food of all kinds, and occasionally, to my delight, the wonderful roast lamb, which is carved right when you order. BRILLIANT.
Lamb tends to be really flavourful, juicy and tender, and even though a bit goes a long way, I can never stop myself from having just a little bit more. What can I say? It always feels like a party where there’s roast lamb. Classical conditioning, I reckon! Of course, a roast meal here always needs the usual accompaniments in the form of potatoes and carrots. Since I admit so easily to being a lazy cook, yes, all I did was shove the spuds in the oven along with the lamb. No boiling or even nuking beforehand. What can I say? Oh right, absolutely nothing, because spuds always manage to taste great. Of course, my brother decided that a little bit of aioli could no harm too. Wonderful things, potatoes! And brothers!
The butcher at my local supermarket was very kind. He offered to help me debone the lamb shoulder and wrap it up in kitchen twine, which was absolutely perfect. You can definitely choose a bone-in piece, but this was what I wanted to work with (yup, that laziness is rearing its ugly head again). I threw everything on a tray and into the oven and then worked on the roasted apple and fennel salad. Then I spent too much time on the phone and lost track of the initial high-temperature period, causing my darling roast to develop a deceivingly brown exterior but an undercooked interior. My bad. Don’t be like me. Don’t talk to friends who let you rant on about the virtues of good Italian hot chocolate. It’s bad for the lamb!
Anyway, all that drama aside, I think it was a fairly good roast. Apologies for the horrible photos; we were starving by then. This lamb was about medium-well, but you can leave it in the oven longer if you get queasy at anything less than well-done. No shame; you and my mother could form a team! I didn’t make a gravy but you can certainly look at the original recipe for that. If you’re up for something that you could probably make in your sleep – provided you adhere to the cooking times and tuck away your cellphone – then this recipe is it. Have fun!
The Basic Boneless Roast Lamb with Garlic & Rosemary
Adapted from Taste.com.au
- 800 g boneless lamb shoulder, rolled & tied up
- 6 potatoes, washed and halved
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 3 carrots, chopped into large chunks
- 2 brown onions, peeled and halved
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and quartered
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt & pepper
- to serve: aioli or sour cream
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
- Layer the potatoes, carrots and onions onto a baking tray lined with foil (makes it easier to clean!). Pour in 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and add in 1 sprig of rosemary, salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.
- Make twelve 1-cm deep slits on the lamb. Coat the lamb in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sea salt and pepper. Insert cloves of garlic and rosemary into the slits.
- Put the lamb on the tray with the vegetables and roast for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees Celsius. Leave it to roast for another hour, turning the vegetables occasionally and basting the lamb.
- Remove the lamb from the oven into a carving plate and cover it with foil to rest. Return the vegetables to the oven at 200 degrees for the another 10 minutes.
- Carve the lamb and serve with the roasted vegetables. Include a serving of aioli or sour cream for the potatoes.