Traditionally milk-fed lamb is roasted with the simplicity of salt and water to allow this prime meat to speak for itself and amaze the most discerning palate. It’s simple to cook—and here is our Chef’s method for a +/- 1.4kg shoulder or leg joint. It’s quick and easy, but important to baste the lamb during cooking and to cook to your own preference—our Chef likes it pink (the internal cooked temperatures for rare, rare/medium and medium are set out below):
Make sure the lamb is thoroughly thawed and at room temperature. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
Take a roasting tin in which the lamb will fit and a wire rack that fits in the tin to carry the lamb so it’s not in contact with the tin or cooking water.
Season the lamb with sea or rock salt and place, skin side down, on the rack. Pour about an inch of water into the tin and add any herbs you like with lamb—we use rosemary and thyme. You can also add veg to the water: leeks are good. If you like roasted garlic, as pictured with our lamb, cut a head in half and place under the lamb—it’s delicious and with the herbs, perfumes the lamb.
Roast for 30 minutes, skin side down, basting regularly with the cooking water in the tin. (If your tin is too shallow to hold an inch of water, just top it up with more hot water as it reduces.)
Remove tin from oven and turn lamb so it is skin side up. Prick the skin with a fork in various places to avoid bubbles under the skin while cooking. Brush the lamb with a mixture of lard and olive oil. Top up with more hot water and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
To finish, and to crisp the skin, sprinkle with salt and increase the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 for the last 5 or 10 minutes of cooking. When it has reached your required crispiness, and the internal temperature is slightly less than you require (to allow for resting time), remove the lamb from the oven and transfer to a serving dish to rest—our Chef rests for 15 minutes, but it’s your preference.
Remove excess oil from the cooking juices with a large spoon and fine strain the juices. Check seasoning before serving with the roasted lamb.
Internal cooked temperatures for lamb: Rare 135°F/60°C. Medium-rare 140°F to 150°F/60°C to 65°C. Medium 160°F/70°C.