Sunday nights have become roast nights in my household; it's probably the one day in the week when everyone's home and we all sit down at the dinner table to eat (and yes we all sit down till we finish all our food unlike weeknights when someone is finishing late or I'm off to the gym and standing over the kitchen bench scoffing down my food - bad I know!). And well, the cooking of the roast has been a bit of a collective effort, we all take turns and it works out to be a rather good arrangement - everyone gets a go and the roast always tastes spectacular in very different ways.
It was my turn this particular week and I used the 'Slow-roasted lamb shoulder with potatoes, anchovies and garlic' recipe found in 'The Thrifty Kitchen'. It's very simple! Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Rub 1.5kg lamb with freshly ground salt and pepper. Heat a heavy based roasting tin over medium heat, then add the lamb and brown all over. Take the lamb off the heat and set aside on a plate. Spread 1kg thinly sliced desiree potatoes and 2 thinly sliced red onions in alternate layers in the roasting tin, and nestle 3 heads of garlic (halved) in amongst the slices. Top with 4 anchovy fillets, 1 tbsp olive oil and 30g butter and season well with salt and pepper. Lay the browned lamb on top, sprinkle with 1 sprig rosemary and 1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar, and pour over 2 cups water.
Cover the tin with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees and remove the foil, then continue to cook for another 30 minutes.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes and then carve. Serve the lamb with the vegetables and a head of roasted garlic per person.
Next time I'd probably reduce the cooking time about 15 minutes to have the lamb slightly rarer. Surprisingly the original recipe recommends a cooking time of 3 hours which both mum and I thought was a little excessive so took the lamb out as soon as it looked done (and we were right!) This one leg of lamb more than comfortably serves four and we even had some leftovers to make a sandwich the next day (have I ever mentioned how tasty roast sandwiches are? they are the best!)