Crying lamb

Crying lamb

By
From
How I cook
Serves
6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

I first tasted this wonderful dish when a friend in Sydney cooked it for me, a long time ago; she had acquired the recipe from a Greek friend. The lamb is cooked on a rack that sits above the dish of potatoes and tomatoes, thereby dripping its lovely juices upon them and imparting the most delicious flavours. It needs only a simple salad alongside, although almost any green vegetable could be served as a warm accompaniment if you prefer.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 leg of lamb, about 2kg
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1.5kg firm-textured, fairly waxy potatoes, such as desirée or roseval
700g ripe tomatoes, such as san marzano
small bunch marjoram or oregano, leaves only
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 dried chilli, crumbled
40ml olive oil
small handful good-quality black olives (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Trim the lamb of most of its surface fat, leaving a thin covering – to baste the joint during cooking. Season well all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Wash the potatoes and pat dry, but don’t bother to peel them. Slice into 3mm thick rounds and place in a large bowl. Slice the tomatoes into fairly thick rounds and add them to the potatoes. Scatter over the marjoram or oregano, garlic and dried chilli. Season with salt and pour over the olive oil. Toss together well, using your hands.
  3. Tip the seasoned potatoes and tomatoes into a large roasting tray and spread them out evenly. Scatter over the olives if using. Set a robust wire rack (large enough to take the lamb) on top.
  4. Place the lamb on the rack, cover with foil and carefully place on the middle shelf of your oven. Roast for 30 minutes.
  5. Turn the oven setting down to 190°C. Remove the foil and roast for a further 1 hour, by which time the lamb should be cooked through and soft but still just slightly pink, while the potatoes will be soft and golden in colour. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
  6. Lift the lamb onto a warm serving platter and surround with the potatoes and tomatoes. Carve the meat at the table.

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