Nothing says Christmas Lunch like roast lamb and Jamie Oliver’s stuffed leg of lamb is what we call real festive food.
Stuffing a leg of lamb is pure genius. The flavours of the fresh herbs and garlic permeates through the meat and the ciabatta keeps it all moist and tender. We had never made our own stuffing before and we were amazed at how easy it actually is. We felt like such experts!
But the stand out taste sensation of this dish has to be the gravy. We are both self-confessed Gravox users so admittedly, we were apprehensive when following the directions. How can all that stuff become gravy?? People, all that stuff doesn’t just become gravy. It turns into the tastiest, most delicious gravy you will ever make. This sauce really packs a punch!
- 2 kg Australian Lamb Leg Roast
- 1 whole garlic bulb
- 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 bunch fresh rosemary
- 4 anchovy fillets [optional – we have some allergies in the family so left these out. STILL delicious though!]
- 100g ciabatta
- 1 large handful of pine nuts
- 1 large handful of green olives
- 1 lemon
- sea salt
- ground black pepper
- olive oil
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 glass of red wine
- 1 heaped tbs of plain flour
- 1 litre chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
TIP: We recommend doing Step 6 FIRST. It will streamline the process and you’ll only have to use one chopping board!
1. Turn the leg of lamb upside down on a chopping board and very gently cut halfway down into the leg along the bone so the meat opens out, creating a pocket. [TIP: Ok, so we’re not sure if we actually did this properly or not! The opening looked less like a pocket and more like a gash but the result was fabulous nonetheless]
2. Make the stuffing by peeling a couple of garlic cloves and popping them into a food processor. Pick the parsley leaves, then pick the rosemary leaves, leaving a few sprigs whole. Add the herb leaves to the processor along with the anchovies [optional] and whiz together. [CONFESSION: I don’t actually own a food processor! So we used the bowl and blade attachment of my very versatile stick blender and that worked perfectly]
3. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, then tear the ciabatta into the processor. Add the pine nuts, then pulse a few times – you want it to be quite coarse – then tip into the bowl of herbs.
4. Destone and roughly chop the olives, then add to the bowl with the zest of the lemon. Season with salt and pepper, then get your hands in the bowl and scrunch everything together – if it looks too dry, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
5. Pack the stuffing into the pocket you’ve made in the lamb, then wrap the meat back over and tie tightly with string to secure, pushing the remaining unpeeled rosemary sprigs underneath the string. Drizzle over a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then rub it all over the lamb.
6. Peel and roughly chop the onions and carrots, then trim and roughly chop the celery. Add the chopped veg to a roasting tray with the remaining unpeeled garlic cloves, then lay your lamb on top.
7. Roast for around 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is beautifully tender.
TIP: we cooked ours for about 2 hours and the meat was tender and juicy] Transfer the lamb to a board or platter to rest while you make the gravy.
8. Spoon off most of the fat from your tray, then place over a low heat on the stove. Add the flour and mash everything together with a potato masher.
9. Pour in a glass of red wine and bring to the boil to cook off the alcohol. Pour in the stock and bring back to the boil, scraping all the sticky goodness from the bottom of the tray as you go. Reduce the heat and simmer for around 10 minutes, or until thickened and reduced.
10. Sieve the gravy into a jug using a ladle to really push all the goodness through, discarding any veg or meat left behind. At this point, the lamb will be just perfect. Dish it up and tuck in!