Spring Roast

There’s nothing like a good old fashioned roast on a cold autumn or winter night, but they can feel a bit heavy for the spring and summer months, so here is my spring take on the Sunday roast – perfect for entertaining friends and family on a lazy Sunday, or even just a cosy night in!

Roast Lamb with Thyme Tomatoes, Rosemary Potatoes, Tabbouleh Salad and Tzatziki

For the roast lamb, you will need:

  • Shoulder of lamb (usually around 2.5kg / 5lb in weight)
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh thyme
  • 200ml Chicken (or beef) stock
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 2 onions – roughly chopped
  • Sea salt / Maldon salt & ground pepper

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170c
  2. Make a criss-cross pattern on the outside of the lamb with a sharp knife, then massage the meat with olive oil and rub with rosemary, thyme, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper (if you have time on your side, leave it an hour or so to marinate)
  3. Arrange the leftover rosemary and thyme with the garlic and chopped garlic in the bottom  of a deep sided roasting tray and pour in some chicken stock. Place the lamb in the roasting tray, cover with aluminium foil and place in the oven
  4. Check on the lamb every 20 minutes or so, scooping the juices over the lamb to stop it going to dry. If the juices start to run out then top up with some more stock, if the juices become to runny then mix in a little bit of flour to thicken it up
  5. Total cooking time should be around 3 hours by which point the meat should be very tender and should pull apart really easy!
  6. When the lamb is done, take it out of the tray and leave it to rest, then pour the juices through a sieve and keep it separate
  7. If the juices / gravy is to runny, add a teaspoon of flour or feel free to thicken (and sweeten) it with a spoonful of cranberry jelly or honey
  8. Using a knife and fork, shred the lamb onto a serving plate, pour the juices over the top and serve!

For the rosemary potatoes you will need:

  • 1 bag of new potatoes (or as many as you intend to have!)
  • Olive oil
  • Goose fat (optional)
  • Sea salt / Maldon salt
  • A handful of chopped fresh rosemary

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c (or leave at 170 if you are cooking the lamb)
  2. Place the potatoes in a deep pan (no need to peel new potatoes), cover with water and a pinch of salt, then bring to the boil
  3. Par-boil the potatoes for roughly 7 minutes
  4. Whilst the potatoes are boiling, pour some olive oil into a roasting tin / tray. If you have goose fat then this is even better – scoop a generous heap of goose fat into the roasting tray and place in the oven to let it heat up
  5. After 7 minutes, drain the potatoes in a colander and shake shake shake so that the outsides of the potatoes become fluffy
  6. Place the fluffy potatoes in the hot roasting tray and sprinkle with a handful of chopped rosemary and a sprinkle of sea salt
  7. Place the tray back into the oven, checking on it every now and then and basking them / scooping up the oil back onto the potatoes
  8. Cook the potatoes for about 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until golden brown

For the thyme tomatoes, you will need:

  • 1 punnet (about 500g) of mini tomatoes –  cherry tomatoes or plum work well
  • 1 handful of chopped fresh thyme
  • White sugar
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c (or leave it at 170 if you are cooking the lamb)
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half (widthways / horizontally) and arrange them in a baking tray, sunny side up!
  3. Sprinkle the tomatoes with an equal amount of white sugar and salt (not too much – just a sprinke!) and then sprinkle with the thyme
  4. Bung it in the oven for approx 20 minutes, then leave to rest

I like to serve this with a fresh Tabbouleh salad and Tzatziki, but you can also serve with a simple side salad or some greens

Timings:

Start with the lamb, then about 1 and 1/2 hours before dinnertime start with the potatoes, once the potatoes are in the oven with the lamb then you can start on the tomatoes, and whilst the tomatoes are in the oven together with the potatoes and the lamb that’s when you can whip up a Tabbouleh salad and some fresh homemade Tzatziki!

Summer Roast

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