Roast leg of lamb, basil sauce, lentils and provencal tomatoes
Serving roast lamb for Sunday lunch is not common these days but it is a practice worth reviving. The aromatic scents from the lamb as it cooks are heavenly.
Roast leg of lamb
|1½ kgs||Leg of lamb, bone in|
|4||Garlic cloves, peeled|
|1 tsp||Ground cumin|
|1 tsp||Ground coriander|
|1 splash||Olive oil|
|1 cup||White wine|
|1 cup||Chicken stock|
|4 Tbsp||Basil pesto|
|150 g||Green lentils|
|700 ml||Chicken stock|
|2 stalks||Fresh thyme|
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Use a sharp knife to make 4 deep cuts into the lamb. Place the leg in a roasting dish and insert the peeled garlic cloves and pieces of anchovy into the cuts.
- Vigorously massage the cumin and coriander into the lamb and set aside for an hour to allow the flavours to permeate. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the lamb in the oven and roast for 20 minutes per 500g plus an extra 20 minutes, which will give you a medium roast that is still juicy.
- Remove the joint from the oven and the roasting dish and rest the meat for 20 minutes before carving. Place the roasting dish over a low heat on top of the stove and add the white wine.
- Bring to the boil and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any crispy bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the stock and pesto. Simmer for 3 minutes, then correct the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve alongside the carved meat.
To prepare Lentils:
- Place the lentils in a deep pot with the stock, bacon and peeled garlic. Use a piece of string to tie the bay leaf and thyme to the peeled carrot, then add it to the pot. Bring to the boil, skim any foam from the top, and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 25 minutes.
- Remove and discard the carrot and herbs. Place the lentils on the platter next to the lamb.
To prepare Provencal Tomatoes:
- Loosen as many seeds as possible from the tomato halves to make space for the stuffing. Season the cut side of each tomato with salt and pepper and place cut-side-up in a shallow dish.
- Mix the garlic, anchovies, parsley, herbs and breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the stuffing over the tomato halves and press down lightly to fill the cavities.
- Mound filling up on top of the tomato halves. Drizzle with olive oil. Add the tomatoes to the roasting dish 30 minutes before the cooking is due to end. When the tops are crisp and golden, remove the tomatoes from the dish and place alongside the carved lamb.