Don’t be put off by the mention of anchovies in the title of this recipe – this dish isn’t fishy at all! This is my standard roast lamb recipe – it takes a few minutes to prepare but then you just throw it in the oven and wait for gorgeous, garlicky roast lamb for dinner.
And actually, this would probably work well with other roasting joints of lamb although I haven’t tried that yet. I’m thinking of maybe a breast of lamb…? Very cheap and underrated cut, but I think this treatment would work very well with it.
Roast Lamb with Garlic and Anchovies
1 leg of lamb – 2kg approx
2-4 cloves of garlic
6 anchovies (from a tin, in oil) salt and pepper
Take the joint of lamb out of the fridge roughly 30 minutes before you want to start cooking, to let it come up to room temperature. Make a note of the weight of the lamb before you start.
Preheat the oven to 210C/190Cfan/Gas7.
Unwrap the lamb and place it in a heavy roasting tin, pat dry with kitchen roll. Take a sharp, thin knife and stab 24 deep cuts through the skin and into the meat – use your finger to make deep channels into the meat.
Chop each of the anchovies into 4 pieces, and cut the cloves of garlic into 24 matchsticks. How many cloves of garlic you need will depend on how big and fat they are, and how garlicky you like your lamb!
Stuff a piece of anchovy deep into each of the holes you have made, and then bury a matchstick of garlic into each hole. Try and make sure that the garlic is inside the lamb so it doesn’t burn too much – some of them may pop out during the cooking process.
Season the meat with salt and pepper and then put the tin into the middle of the oven. Cook the lamb for 30 minutes, and then turn the oven down to 180C/160Cfan/Gas4. Cook at the lower temperature for 15 minutes per 500g for medium, 10 minutes per 500g for rare, 20 minutes per 500g for well done.
Baste the lamb a couple of times during the remaining cooking time.
When the lamb is cooked to your preference, remove from the oven and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.