Cordero Asado

Aromatic Roast Baby Lamb

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • 4–6

    Raciones

Appears in

MoVida Rustica

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2009

  • About

THE BEST LAMB I HAVE EVER EATEN WAS IN A RESTAURANT IN AN OLD FARMHOUSE IN THE HILLS ABOVE SAN SEBASTIÁN. IT WAS SUCKLING LAMB, AND A WHOLE SHOULDER BARELY FED ONE PERSON. IT WAS COOKED OVER A LITTLE POOL OF AROMATIC LIQUID THAT STEAMED THE FLESH FROM BELOW. THE SKIN WAS LIKE A DELICIOUS PARCHMENT COVERING SWEET SHREDS OF SOFT FLESH. IT WAS SUPERB.

Ingredients

  • 3 kg (6 lb 12 oz) baby lamb forequarter, including the rib (or one larger lamb forequarter)
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) white wine
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) olive oil
  • sea salt flakes

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7).

To cut the lamb into four pieces (two legs and two ribs), run the tip of a sharp knife through the ‘armpit’ of the lamb and pull the leg away from the ribs to make it easier to remove the leg.

Place the lamb pieces on a wire rack in a large roasting tin. Pour the wine, 30 ml (1 fl oz) of the olive oil and 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water into the tin. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the lamb, then sprinkle generously with sea salt flakes and rub in well.

Roast the lamb for 40 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (315°F/Gas 2-3) and roast for another 60-70 minutes, or until the lamb is well done. You may need to add some more hot water to the roasting tin during cooking. Remove from the oven and allow the lamb to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Alternatively you can cook the meat in a wood-fired oven. Wait until the heat has died down to under 220°C (425°F/Gas 7), or the intense heat will burn the skin before it cooks. Roast the lamb for 20 minutes, or until the skin is brown and crisp, turning regularly. Remove from the oven and cover loosely with foil to keep the meat warm, and allow the oven temperature to drop to moderate (around 180°C/350°F/Gas 4). Then remove the foil and roast the lamb for another 30 minutes, or until cooked and tender. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.