Roast of Lamb This is possibly my favourite roast dinner, not only because of the wonderful meal at the end of it, but also because of the wonderful aromas that fill the house while it is cooking, and the perfect excuse to open a bottle of winter–warming wine.
Set the oven at 425°F. While it is warming up, take a small knife and make inch deep insertions into the fatty side of the lamb in a grid pattern, leaving gaps between of a couple inches or so. The idea is to cover as much of the surface as you can. Into each slit, tuck a sprig of rosemary and a sliver of garlic. I like to then rub the whole leg with a decent extra virgin olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
of lamb, bone in, weighing 4 or 5 lbs., room temperature
1 bag of potatoes, preferably from the garden,
peeled and cubed into half inch pieces fresh
rosemary, some chopped and some left on the sprigs
dried sage, about a handful 1 head of garlic, half of the cloves peeled and
sliced, half of the cloves left full salt and pepper
Place the prepared leg into a roasting dish, along with the full cloves of garlic and any remaining rosemary, then into the oven for 30 minutes to sear. Drop the cubed potato into a pot of simmering water along with the dried sage. Reduce the oven to 300°F, and cook for 20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 20 minutes until the core temperature reaches 250°F. Meanwhile, drain the potatoes and place them onto a roasting pan, spreading the sage amongst them. Let them dry for the next hour, and once dry, drizzle generously with oil. Throw into the oven for the last hour, or until the outsides have nicely browned. Take the lamb out of the oven and let rest for another 20 minutes. This should cook the lamb to a very English medium-rare. The pan should also be full of juicy bits for making au jus; just add red wine, stir and reduce by half. As a final indulgence, a little bit of mint sauce on the side is never a bad thing. The Wine Guy is a recent immigrant to Saskatoon (he fell in love with a Saskatchewan gal) and is delighted at the range of wines available here. His observations have been featured in publications such as Wine Spectator, Food & Wine Magazine, a variety of Sunday supplements and various blogs. The Wine Guy is fully committed to the grape cause.