During springtime, we get a great load of excellent lamb from our local farmers and friends John Bryce and his son Laurence. The lamb has normally been reared in the field in front of us, to the left of us or a mile up the road from our house “Meikle Logie”, hence the title of this recipe. The meat is as local as you can get, and without a doubt this is the best way to eat meat. It is well worth asking your local farmer if they will sell you some meat, or your local butcher if they source locally. Not only will you probably get a cheaper price than you would for cuts of meat that have been flown around the world twice over, but the quality of the meat and the welfare of the animals will be much better. It is good to support the committed farmers close to you, and relying on their products might introduce you to new cuts of meat you wouldn’t otherwise try. We enjoy this dish on Easter Sunday, prepped and cooked simply, with lots of garlic and rosemary and a hearty serving of roasted veggies.
SERVES 6–8 1 leg of lamb, about 2 kg (4lb 8oz) 2 garlic bulbs large bunch of rosemary 1 lemon, quartered 4 banana shallots, quartered olive oil 200g (7oz) potatoes 2 red onions 200g (7oz) parsnips 200g (7oz) celeriac 200g (7oz) carrots (preferably coloured) 200ml (1/3 pint) lamb or vegetable stock 200ml (1/3 pint) red wine 1 large leek, roughly chopped 100g (3 1/2 oz) French beans, trimmed 200g (7oz) frozen peas small bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the lamb the night before cooking. Put the leg of lamb into a roasting tray, then make lots of small slits across the surface using a sharp knife. Peel the cloves of one of the garlic bulbs and slice them roughly.
Stick a slice of garlic into each cut. Break off pieces of rosemary from onethird of the sprigs and also stick these into the cuts. Cover the lamb with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200.C (400.F), Gas Mark 6. Remove the clingfilm from the lamb. Add the remaining rosemary sprigs to the roasting tray. Halve the remaining garlic bulb horizontally and add it to the tray. Squeeze the juice from the lemon quarters over the lamb, then add the squeezed-out pieces of rind to the tray, too. Arrange the quartered shallots around the meat. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the lamb and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1. hours.
Remove the tray from the oven (leave the oven switched on), cover the lamb with kitchen foil and then a few tea towels and leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes, although 1 hour is best.
While the meat is resting, prepare the vegetables. Peel then cut the potatoes, onions, parsnips, celeriac and carrots so that they are chopped into pieces of roughly the same size. Place the chopped veggies in a roasting tray, drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat the vegetables in the oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are almost cooked.
Meanwhile, make the gravy. Drain off the lamb juices from the roasting tray and strain them into a saucepan. Add the stock and wine. Bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced by roughly half and has thickened slightly.
Remove the roasting tray with the veggies from the oven once the veggies are nearly cooked, stir in the chopped leek and the French beans so that they get a good coating of oil and roast for a further 10 minutes.
Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Place the peas in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to stand for 2 minutes, then drain. Put the peas into a bowl and stir through the chopped mint.
Place all the vegetables on a big platter. Arrange the lamb and shallots on top. Carve the meat and serve with the gravy.