Leg of Lamb Pot Roast with Carrots, Potatoes and Peas

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Whole Bone-In Leg of Lamb (fat trimmed)
  • 1.5kg Yukon Gold Potatoes (washed and peeled)
  • 5 Carrots (washed, peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 3 Onions (trimmed, peeled and sliced)
  • 1 Orange (washed, zest peeled into strips, and juiced)
  • 200g Peas
  • 750ml Brown Chicken Stock
  • 250ml White Wine
  • 100ml Tomato Paste
  • 1 Head of Garlic (split in half horizontally)
  • 1 bunch Thyme (washed)
  • 1 bunch Parsley (washed)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 5 Juniper Berries
  • 3 Allspice Berries
  • 25g Cornstarch

Instructions:

Braised Leg of Lamb

  1. Preheat your oven by setting it to Broil on high heat.
  2. Place the leg of lamb on a roasting pan.  Coat the leg of lamb with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and place it under the broiler for 10-15mins turning occasionally until golden brown all over.
  3. Deglaze the pan with a splash of water, to remove the sediment/fond that’s attached to the roasting pan from the roast lamb.  Reserve and set aside.
  4. Preheat your oven to 300ºF.
  5. In a large oven proof pot with a lid or dutch oven, heat over medium high heat on the stove.  Add your spices (star anise, juniper and all spice berries) and lightly toast for 1-2mins until fragrant.  Add a little olive oil and add your onions, garlic and half your carrots.  Cook for 5-10mins until lightly caramelized, sweated down and volume has reduced by half.  Add your tomato paste and cook for 3-5mins.
  6. Add your white wine to your cooked vegetable mix and cook on high until the most of the white wine has evaporated and reduced down to a syrup.  Now add your pan juices from your roast lamb, along with your chicken stock and fresh orange juice and bring the mixture up to a boil.
  7. When the mixture comes to a boil, add your leg of lamb, orange peel, bay leaves, parsley and thyme.  Cover your lamb loosely with a sheet of non-stick parchment paper, and lid and place your pot or dutch oven inside the oven for 2-3hrs until your lamb is cooked through and very tender.
  8. Carefully remove your lamb and set it aside.  Pass your braising liquor and other ingredients through a sift and into a pan.  Discard the vegetables, orange peel, herbs and spices used for braising.
  9. Set the pan on the stove and cook over high heat until the braising liquor comes to a rolling boil and reduces in volume by half.  Add a splash of water to your cornstarch to form a slurry before adding it to your braising liquor.  Adjust the amount of cornstarch according to your taste.

Vegetable Garnish

  1. In a large pot, fill with cold water and a large pinch of salt.  Cook over high heat until it comes to a boil.
  2. Add your potatoes and cook until your potatoes are cooked through and can be easily pierced through with a knife.  Remove and set aside.
  3. Repeat this process with your carrots and cook your carrots until they’re cooked through and can be easily pierced through a knife.  Remove and set aside.
  4. Add your peas and cook for 2-3mins until cooked and bright green.  Remove and set aside.

Assembly

  1. Add your cooked vegetable garnish onto a large serving dish/plate.  Pour a generous amount of your thickened braising liquor over the vegetables.  Place your cooked leg of lamb on top of your vegetables, followed by another generous amount of braising liquor over the lamb.

 

Notes

  • This is pretty much a complete meal, as it contains your protein, starch and vegetables.  So while prepping and cooking your vegetables separate from your lamb might be a bit fiddly, it’s pretty much all your doing as you won’t really need any additional sides to accompany your meal.
  • This is a great lamb dish to prepare and serve during spring.  Also a lot of fresh vegetables come into season and fresh good quality Spring Lamb is available.
  • Some of you might be wondering why I coloured the lamb under the broiler versus just searing it on the pot or dutch oven over stove top?  The reason is that the shape of the leg of lamb is uneven, hence making it difficult to get a proper sear all over.  As only a small amount of surface area of the lamb is able to make direct contact with the surface of the pan.  Whereas the heat from the broiler is transmitted through radiant heat and you’re able to get a much better result placing your lamb under the broiler to give it a even golden colour all over the surface of the lamb.
  • While this dish is certainly very hearty, I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as heavy as it doesn’t contain any additional butter, cream, animal fat, etc.
  • I know on first glance the use of orange is a bit jarring in this recipe, but the use of citrus fruit is quite common in Mediterranean cuisine.  For example, Greek cuisine commonly uses lemon in their preparation of various lamb dishes.  I similarly use the orange juice to provide a nice citrus note to sauce that works well with the base tomato flavour.  The orange peel provides a nice floral bittersweet note, that helps remove some of the gaminess from the lamb that some people may find unpalatable.
  • As a side note, the use of dried orange/tangerine peel is also common and popular in Chinese medicinal cuisine.
  • It’s important that when you peel your orange zest into strips, you omit the white pith.  Otherwise your sauce may end up being too bitter.     
  • I discarded the vegetables, herbs and spices used to cook the lamb after it was finished braising as all the flavour and goodness has already been released into the braising liquor.  So there’s no real value in retaining them.  That’s also why I separated the cooking of the vegetables for garnish.  As I wish to retain their individual flavour, and simply bring them all together at the end. 

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