Basic Roast Lamb with Cherry and Port Sauce. Care for succulent, melt-in-your-mouth lamb this Yule? Choose your leg (with or without the bone), then follow this recipe.
2.5kg leg of lamb (see tip, below)
4 garlic cloves, sliced, plus extra 3 bulbs
1/2 bunch rosemary, sprigs cut into 1-2cm lengths
12 French shallots
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle, plus extra, to grease
Snow pea sprouts, to garnish
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a baking tray. Remove lamb from packaging and set aside for 30-40 minutes to bring up to room temperature. Using a small paring knife, make 2cm-deep slits all over lamb, then insert garlic slices and rosemary segments into slits.
Transfer lamb to prepared tray with extra garlic bulbs and shallots. Season with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with oil.
Roast for about 1. hours for medium-cooked lamb (increase time if you like it more cooked). Cover loosely with foil and set aside for 20-30 minutes to rest. Reserve pan juices for gravy or Cherry and Port Sauce (see recipe, below). Carve and serve.
Tip: Allow 250-350g lamb per person (with 350g being for hungry eaters, or to allow for leftovers).
Cherry and Port Sauce
Makes 2½ cups
1 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups port
3-4 slices ginger
1 finely chopped French shallot
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 cup pan juices (from lamb)
2 1/2 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
300g pitted cherries (fresh or frozen), halved
40g butter, cubed
Place wine, port, ginger, shallot, star-anise, cinnamon and sugar in a medium saucepan. Add pan juices. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 12-15 minutes or until reduced by half. Strain and discard solids.
In same pan, dissolve cornflour in balsamic over a medium heat, stirring until slightly thickened. Add cherries and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until softened slightly. Gradually whisk in butter. Season. Serve with roast lamb