Generations of British cooks have ruined leg of lamb by overcooking it. It is a lean joint and if cooked until brown all through the meat loses both succulence and flavour. In France they often cook lamb leaving it almost red inside but I like it best a delicate pink. Lamb responds well when cooked with fruit; particularly, I have discovered, with pears. This is an easy dish to prepare and would do well for either Christmas Eve or Boxing Day. Sliced potatoes, cooked in a dish with garlic and cream, go beautifully with this roast. Perry is a drink like cider made from pears; cider does just as well.
Using a very sharp knife make deep cuts about
Before cooking it, turn the lamb over in the pan skin-side up and rub the skin with sea salt and olive oil.
When cooked, remove the lamb from the oven and let it sit on top of the stove for 10-15 minutes before eating. Check the pan juices for seasoning and re-heat before pouring into the gravy jug. To make the gravy into more of a sauce add the double cream to the juices in the pan and simmer them on top of the stove for a minute or two.
© 1978 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.