Easter is just around the corner, which, although it comes early this year, is a popular time to eat lamb in Sweden. Studding it with garlic and scenting it with lemon and rosemary ensures that the meat smells and tastes absolutely fabulous.
Be bold and roast the lamb so that it is pink in the centre – then it will taste so much better and it will also remain moist if you have any leftovers to serve cold. Of course lamb with garlic, rosemary and lemon is fairly international, but do as most Swedes do and use a meat thermometer and sear the meat before roasting it.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 80 minutes
1 ¾ kg part-boned leg of lamb (or 3 kg with bone in, or 1 ½ kg of boned and rolled leg)
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt (Swedes would normally use 2-3 tsp of salt, so use more if desired)
6-10 cloves of garlic, peeled
2-3 sprigs of rosemary
3-4 lemons (allow half a lemon per person)
1. Pre-heat your barbecue or oven to 175C.
2. Brush the lamb with some olive oil.
3. Mix the rosemary, salt and ground black pepper and rub the mixture all over the lamb.
4. Sear the lamb all over in a hot pan or on the barbecue until golden brown, allowing 1-2 minutes per side.
5. Make slits in the lamb and put a clove of garlic and a small piece of rosemary in each slit (halve any large cloves if desired).
6. Grate the skin of one of the lemons over the lamb and then insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.
7. Roast until the inner temperature reaches 50C and then add the lemons, halved and cut side down.
8. Roast until the inner temperature of the lamb reaches 62C for rare or 70C for well done. Remove the meat and lemons from the oven, cover the meat with foil and leave to rest somewhere warm for at least 20 minutes.
9. Add a teaspoon of oil to a frying pan and heat until very hot. Add the lemons, cut side down, and fry for 1-2 minutes, until nicely browned.
10. Keep the lemons warm whilst the meat is carved.
11. Serve the meat, hot or warm, garnished with the lemon halves and a few small sprigs of rosemary.
– Ask your butcher to trim the lamb, so that it hasn't got too much fat.
– Also ask your butcher to part-bone the lamb, leaving just the lower part of the leg bone in the joint, so that the meat is easy to carve but still holds its shape well.
– Serve the lamb with some wild garlic pesto for a delicious double dose of garlic: stunning.
This recipe was provided courtesy of John Duxbury and was originally published on the Swedish Food website.