For Easter, the menu is almost always the same….. Hard-boiled eggs with shells decorated by the kids generation of the moment….
They are served with a tasty home-made mayonnaise divided into 3 to propose different flavors such as chives, ketchup, curry or simply plain mayo….
As a main we traditionnaly share 2-3 legs of lamb depending on our number…. And the sides are potatoes, butter beans and greens sometimes!
For dessert, as the kids are chocolate hunting after lunch and the table decorated with lots of rabbits and eggs in chocolate, we do not really have any specials. Fruits sometimes or ice cream and biscuits….!
As you have understood, the highlight of the lunch is the leg of lamb especially when my mother cooks it. She wakes-up way too early in the morning to make sure that it will cook as many hours as possible.
No need to do that…. You can also serve that dish for dinner if you want to.
Just make sure that you can have wide open windows for a while as this is a very smelly dish that will infuse your whole house however big it is….
- 3-4 kilos of large potatoes for gratin
- 1-2 legs of lamb
- 2-3 garlic cloves per leg
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh aromatic herbs
First of all, have your meat out of the fridge 1-2 hours before so that it gets at room temperature.
Preheat your oven to 150-160°.
Start with the preparation of the potatoes.
Peel all the potatoes and using a mandoline or the slicer of your food processor get them all sliced. Remove the excess of troubled water (due to the starch) they are rendering and place them at the bottom of a large and deep gratin dish that can contain the leg of lamb as well.
As you layer the potatoes, season with salt and pepper from time to time and fill the gratin dish halfway through or even 2/3.
Using a sharp knife, make a few incision in different parts of the lamb leg and insert in each one 1/2 a garlic clove. It will infuse the meat while cooking.
Season with salt and freshly crushed pepper. Rub with oil and spread chopped aromatic herbs on top such as thyme, rosemary….
Place the leg of lamb on top of the potatoes, the bone can slightly get out of the dish as long as it is not covered with meat.
Place it in the oven and cook it for a few hours.
If you have home-made vegetable stock use it otherwise, bring water to a boil in your kettle and dissolve 1-2 cubes of vegetable stock and keep the liquid at hand.
After one hour of cooking, pour a laddle of stock on top of the lamb so that it does not get dry. Keep on repeating that process all along the cooking of the meat. Simply think about flipping upside down the lamb to get the other side roasted as well.
The stock will rinse the meat and the juice will get coat the potatoes. That will make them very soft and tasty.
If the meat gets a little dry after 3-4 hours, you can cover it with foil.
After the 5-7 hours of cooking, the meat is ready to be cut. It should be very soft and tear appart by itself.
You may still need a knife to get through the whole piece of lamb.
Place them on top of the potatoes or in a serving dish next to the potatoes.
If you have an excess of juice, place it in a small jug and serve it on the side, along with the potatoes amd lamb.