It is the week of Christmas and the festivities have begun. Every day is full of Christmas carols and so much fun. We could feel it in the air – the exciting anticipation building up till the Holy Silent Night. But until the magic moment comes, we decide to celebrate in all ways we can. Baking cookies, having coffee with friends, playing games and tasting special meals. We cook the food we love, making everyday a special one.
Today, we roast a boneless leg of lamb, staffed with dry apricots, breadcrumbs, shallot, garlic, rosemary and parsley, served with potato roasties and caramelized chicory. There is something so utterly satisfying in biting a piece of roasted lamb and the surprising burst of sea salt crystal in your mouth, complimented and mellowed by the sweetness of the apricots and the delicious herbs. So rewarding to taste a festive meal on a casual day, celebrating live itself rather than an occasion.
I have made this recipe so many times in the past and it never falters. One of my go to easy comfort. A reliable meal I can make, fallowing a few basic steps. A real classic that never ceases to delight and inspire.
For the Roast Lamb
- 1 kg boneless lamb leg
- 4 sprigs rosemary, 2 sprigs finely chopped
- parsley a small bunch, finely chopped
- 50g dried breadcrumbs
- 50g dried apricots, chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- walnuts 50g, toasted and chopped
- olive oil
- black pepper
- sea salt
For the Chicory
- 4 chicory heads, halved
- black pepper
1. For the Roast Leg of Lamb: Put the finely chopped rosemary and parsley, breadcrumbs, apricots, shallot, minced garlic cloves, walnuts and a table spoon of olive oil in a large bowl, season with salt and ground black pepper, and mix well.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Place the lamb on a flat board with the skin down. Season the inside with salt and ground black pepper. Spread the stuffing onto the flesh-side of the lamb and fold over the sides, sealing in the stuffing. Tie several knots with kitchen string around the lamb to hold in place while cooking.
3. Put into a roasting tray skin-side up. Cover the top with olive oil, chopped rosemary, ground black pepper and sea salt crystals. Roast for 40 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180C and cook for another 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature is at 65C. Sit under foil for 20 minutes before carving and serving with roasties and chicory.
4. For the Chicory: Wash and remove the outer leaves of 4 chicory heads. Cut in half. Place in a deep pot and cover with water just enough the slightly reach the top. Boil on medium heat until the water almost complete evaporates and the chicory become soft and tender. Season with a table spoon of sugar, salt and ground black pepper and cook until the chicory gets a slightly burned, caramelised colour.