When asked what I wished for my birthday dinner while growing up the answer was always: leg of lamb. This dish is an absolute must-have on the Kiwi Christmas dinner table too. Serve this melt-in-the-mouth, slow-roasted lamb with a simple sauce made from the meat juices.
4 ½ - 5 ½ lb (2 - 2 ½ kg) whole New Zealand leg of lamb (bone-in)
1.75 oz (50 g) butter, softened
2 - 3 cloves of garlic
Sea salt and black pepper
8.5 fl oz (250 ml) boiling water
FOR THE SAUCE:
2 tbsp all-purpose (plain) flour
8.5 fl oz (250 ml) lamb or chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C).
Before cooking, allow the lamb to come up to room temperature. Mash the butter with a fork, then crush the garlic with a generous pinch of salt and pepper until it forms a paste. Add into the butter, then rub this paste all over the lamb.
Place the lamb into a roasting tin and pour in the water, then allow to cook for three hours.
Remove the lamb from the oven, draining any fat and meat juices into a bowl. Cover with foil and allow to rest.
To make the sauce, skim most of the fat from the meat juices, then pour into a saucepan over a low heat. Add the flour and mix well. Cook the paste for a couple of minutes, then slowly whisk in the stock. Simmer until thickened.
Serve the lamb with buttered new potatoes, steamed seasonal vegetables and the sauce.