Salt-baking the leg of lamb rather than roasting it conventionally means that salt and steam are absorbed by the meat during cooking, making it incredibly moist and tender. With sweet, golden roast veg and a sharp sauce to set it off, this makes an excellent celebration dinner or a Sunday lunch.
For the salt crust
- 500g plain flour
- 500g coarse sea salt
- 2 egg whites (save the yolks)
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 225ml water
For the lamb
- 1kg root veg (e.g. beetroot, kohlrabi, potatoes, carrots), cut into wedges
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- olive oil
- 1kg leg of lamb, bone removed
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
For the salsa verde
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
- 3 anchovies, finely chopped
- juice of ½ lemon, plus more to taste
- 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 3 tbsp mint, chopped
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 220°C/Gas 8.
To prepare the lamb
- Put the root veg and thyme in a roasting dish and toss in oil. Season.
- Heat a little oil in a frying pan and brown the lamb all over. Remove and leave to cool.
- Roll out the dough to 3-4mm on a floured work surface.
- Spread the mustard and rosemary on the lamb and place it, top side down, on the dough. Fold the dough over and press to seal in the lamb. It doesn’t have to look pretty and you can patch it. Turn over, put on a baking tray and brush with the saved egg yolks.
- Put on the top shelf of the oven with the veg below. Roast for 15 minutes, then for another 30 minutes at 190°C/Gas 5. Remove and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
- Check the veg – if it isn’t tender, keep it cooking while the meat rests.
To make the salsa verde
- Mix the ingredients in a bowl.
- Cut the crust open at the table (discard the crust), patting the meat with kitchen paper to remove excess salt. Slice thinly and serve with the veg and a drizzle of salsa verde.
Recipe by www.riverford.co.uk