Simple pleasures

On the lamb

Lamb leg, marinated in coriander and spices  and slowly roasted for five hours

There is a Roald Dahl short story whereby a wronged wife clonks her husband on the head with a frozen lamb leg and renders him dead.

While I am no way advocating such action (there are many ways one can use a lamb leg), there is something about this particular joint of meat that lends itself to physical action. This recipe allows you to release all that anger, passion and pent up desire to be a mustachioed Turkish masseur that you didn’t know you had.

A slow-roast leg of lamb is a real pleasure, whether it be studded with rosemary, garlic and anchovy or covered in harissa. I love lamb curry in all it’s guises, so here I’ve turned it into a Sunday roast which really should get the tastebuds going. If you’re going to serve it for lunch, you’d better get up early though, but at least with the prep done the day before, you can go straight back to bed with the papers and let it do its thing.

1 lamb leg. Ask the lamb first
1 large bunch of coriander
1 clove of garlic
1 small onion
1 thumb of ginger
3 hot green chillies, fewer if you can’t stand the heat
1tbsp ground cumin (as opposed to tree cumin)
1tbsp ground coriander
Salt and pepper to season

Chop the ingredients a little first so you don’t break your food processor when you blitz them all to a paste. Sometimes I find the coriander roots wrap themselves around the blade like a particularly nasty episode from the Boston strangler.
Take your lamb leg and a sharp pointy knife then stab it all over with a questionable enthusiasm.

Rub the coriander paste all over the leg, again with an enthusiasm that is perhaps best kept secret and let it marinade for a couple of hours, preferably overnight in the fridge.

Heat the oven to 220c and put the lamb, on a roasting tray, inside.
Cook for half an hour then turn the heat down to 120c and cook for about five hours. By this time, the lamb should be meltingly soft, falling from the bone and filling the kitchen with indecent aromas.

If you don’t polish the whole thing off there and then, it makes the best sandwiches the next day, warmed through with the juices oozing into the bread.

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