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This roast is relatively simple because all the effort is at the start. Choose some handy sides, like some roasted carrots and potatoes which can cook while the meat rests.

Wine Suggestion: A classic match with Bordeaux, or similar from around the world. Tonight a very youthful Château Puygueraud, from the Côtes de Francs which we pulled from our cellar (under the bed) to check progress. Many years ahead of it, but tonight was a joy nonetheless.

Rolled leg of lamb with salsa verde stuffing – serves 4

  • 1.5kg leg of lamb, bone removed and butterflied (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 200ml white wine
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 cloves of garlic, bashed
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 50ml olive oil, plus 2 tbsp extra
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 400g broad beans, double podded (blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water and they will easily pop out of their skins)
  • a handful of watercress, to serve

FOR THE STUFFING:

  • a large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, including stalks
  • a small bunch of mint, leaves picked
  • 6 brown anchovies
  • 4 tbsp capers, drained
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 long shallots, finely chopped
  • 25g panko breadcrumbs

Put the lamb, skin-side down, on a chopping board. Make slashes all over the meat with a sharp knife but be careful not to cut the whole way through. Season all over.

Transfer the lamb to a large sealable food bag or container, scored-side down. Pour over the wine, then add the rosemary, garlic, onion, bay and 50ml of olive oil. Seal the bag and massage the marinade into the meat. Chill for 24 hours but bring out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking.

Make the stuffing while the meat is coming up to room temperature.

Put the parsley, mint, anchovies and capers into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (you can also do this by hand), then tip into a bowl and stir in the lemon zest and juice, the vinegar and shallots. Season well. Spoon 3 tbsp of the salsa verde into a small bowl. Add the panko breadcrumbs to the larger bowl of salsa verde and stir 2 tbsp of olive oil into the smaller one – set the smaller one aside to serve later.

Take the lamb out of the marinade, then add about 50ml of the marinade to the large bowl of stuffing to soak into the breadcrumbs and bind the mixture (you might not need as much as 50ml). Keep any remaining marinade for later.

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Pat the lamb dry with kitchen paper and lay on a chopping board, skin-side down. Spread the stuffing over the meat in an even layer. Start from one of the short sides and fold the meat over the stuffing, rolling and tucking it in to seal. Tie in about 6 places with kitchen string to hold it together. Transfer to a roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 1 hour – 1 hour and 20 minutes or until 60-65C on a meat thermometer for medium or 70C for well done. If you don’t have a meat thermometer insert a metal skewer into the centre and if it comes out hot, the meat is ready. Cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Put the reserved marinade into a saucepan with the stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Discard any rosemary, garlic, onion and bay, then add the broad beans and simmer for 4-6 minutes or until the stock has reduced. Transfer the beans and juice to a warm serving platter and serve along with the lamb, the reserved salsa verde and some watercress.

(Original recipe by Anna Glover in Olive Magazine, April 2022.)

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