You can make this roast for two, using a small half shoulder, or as many as 12, with two legs of lamb. Just remember you need the same weight of potatoes as meat. Serve with redcurrant jelly rather than mint sauce.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F/200C/gas mark 6.
- Peel the potatoes and slice thinly. Rinse them and soak in cold water. Peel, halve and finely chop the onion. Peel the garlic. Chop one garlic and thinly slice the other. Mix onion, chopped garlic and herbs.
- Use half the butter to grease a large earthenware gratin-type dish or roasting pan. Fill with a third of the drained potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and scatter half the onion mixture over the top. Make another layer of potatoes and onion and finish with a layer of potatoes.
- Smooth the surface of the potatoes and press down evenly with the flat of your hand. Dot with butter. Add enough boiling water to almost cover the potatoes. Cook them in the oven for 30mins, then turn up to 450F/230C/gas mark 8 for another 15 minutes – until the liquid has been absorbed, the potatoes are tender and the top is nicely browned.
- Meanwhile, trim excess fat from the lamb. Make slashes in the meat and post the sliced garlic. Calculate the cooking time, allowing between 15 and 25 minutes per pound, depending on how pink you like your lamb.
- Now place the joint on top of the potatoes and cook for 15 mins before returning temperature to earlier level. Turn meat at halfway point. Then remove the joint, keep it warm and allow it to rest for 15 minutes or more, leaving the potatoes in the oven.
- Carve at the table, giving everyone some of the meat juices and letting your guests help themselves to the potatoes (they’ll want more).
This recipe was first published in Saga Magazine
Lindsey Bareham's website is: www.lindseybareham.com