Butterflied leg of lamb with rosemary salt and slow-roasted tomato salad
- June 2016
- Serves 6-8
- Hands-on time 35 min, oven time 2 hours, plus 24 hours marinating
Let lamb be the hero of any occasion with Debbie Major’s recipe. Paired with rosemary salt and a sweet tomato salad – this meal will become a firm favourite for a summery Sunday.
Note that the lamb needs to be marinated for 24 hours before cooking.
- 47.3g (15.6g saturated)
- 4.2g (3.3g sugars)
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked, finely chopped
- 6 large thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- ½ tsp fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
- 1 small lemon, plus coarsely grated zest and juice ½ lemon
- 2 tsp sea salt flakes
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2.5kg British lamb leg, butterflied (ask your butcher to do this for you)
For the slow-roasted tomato salad
- 500g vine ripened classic or plum tomatoes
- Extra-virgin olive oil for greasing, plus extra to serve
- Sea salt flakes for sprinkling
- 75g wild rocket
- 50g good quality pitted black olives
- 150g chargrilled artichokes in olive oil, well drained
- ½ medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp good quality balsamic vinegar (such as Belazu)
For the rosemary salt
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
- 3 tbsp sea salt flakes
- Mix the garlic, chilli, rosemary, thyme, fennel seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil in a shallow, non-metallic dish large enough to hold the lamb. Add the lamb, turn to coat well in the marinade, then cover and leave in the fridge for up to 24 hours, turning now and then.
- For the slow-roasted tomatoes, heat the oven to its highest setting. Cut the tomatoes in half and lay them cut-face up in a lightly oiled, shallow roasting tin. Sprinkle each tomato with sea salt flakes and ground black pepper, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2 and roast for 1¼-1½ hours more (this depends on the size of your tomatoes) until shrivelled and lightly browned but still juicy in the centre. Remove and set aside.
- When you’re ready to cook the lamb, heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. For the rosemary salt, put the chopped rosemary into a mortar and bruise it with the pestle. Stir in the sea salt flakes and set aside.
- Lift the lamb out of the marinade and shake off the excess. Season the meat lightly with a little rosemary salt and some pepper. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat until smoking hot. Add the lamb and sear over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side until nicely browned. Transfer the meat to a roasting tin and roast for 20-25 minutes, depending on how rare you like your meat and how thinly it has been butterflied, or until it registers 55-60°C at its thickest part on a digital probe thermometer.
- Lift the lamb onto a carving board, wrap loosely in foil and leave it to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, slide the tray of tomatoes back into the oven for 5 minutes to warm through.
- Put the rocket on a serving plate and arrange the roasted tomatoes in among the leaves. Scatter over the black olives, artichokes, chilli and capers, then drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Uncover the lamb, cut into slices and arrange on a serving platter. Sprinkle with a little more rosemary salt, then serve with the roasted tomato salad, shoestring chips or potato wedges with the remaining rosemary salt on the side.
Marinate the lamb up to 24 hours ahead. Slow-roast the tomatoes 24 hours ahead – chill, then bring to room temperature before serving.
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