Serves 8-10 people
Roasted spring lamb tends to form the centre-piece of most Easter Sunday menus in France, with the lamb, known locally as ‘agneau pascal’, in a symbolic reference to the sacrifice of the innocent. Not only does this delicious dish have an allegorical meaning at Easter, but this time of year is the prime season for lamb making it the perfect choice for the ultimate Easter Sunday family meal.
This traditional dish is seasoned with garlic and fragrant herbs like rosemary to create a mouth-watering, aromatic dish, perfectly suited to the French brasserie style food of Berts Jazz Bar. However, the fact that the recipe requires only 5-6 ingredients, and just 15 minutes of preparation time means that this is the perfect meal to recreate in the comfort of your own kitchen. This Easter Sunday, make your main course “formidable’ with Berts Jazz Bar’s “Le Gigot d’Agneau Pascal”!
· 1x 10-12lb leg of lamb on the bone
· 5 garlic cloves
· 1 pinch of salt
· 1 pinch of pepper
· Olive oil
· 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
· A mixture of dried herbs ½ teaspoon of each, including sage, lavender and thyme
1. Take the lamb out of the fridge about 2-3 hours before you begin the recipe to ensure that the meat is not too cold.
2. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
3. If your butcher has not done so, remove most of the white tough skin that may still be on the meat by making a small incision and pulling with your fingers, cutting parallel to the meat as you pull. This makes the meat more presentable and easier to eat.
4. Slice the garlic into small pieces
5. With a long, sharp knife, make a long and thin 1cm incision in the meat and insert the garlic into the opening. At this point, you may wish to add a couple of leaves of fresh rosemary into the incision, but this is optional.
6. Place the leg of lamb in a large oven dish and lightly cover the meat with olive oil.
7. Season with salt and pepper and, optionally, the dried herbs, on every part of the roast. The olive oil should help the pepper and herbs to stick to the meat, forming a crust-like appearance.
8. Place in the high temperature oven for around 20 minutes to develop a crust, which will prevent the juices from escaping during cooking, as well as adding flavour and visual appeal.
9. Lower the temperature in the oven to around 200°C and continue to cook for 12-15 minutes per pound of weight for a medium serve, or 18 minutes for a well done serve.
10. You may wish to turn the roast when it has been cooking for half of the total time.
11. Once removed from the oven, take out of the oven tray, cover in tin foil and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes to allow the juices to flow back into the meat, and serve. Le Gigot d’Agneau Pascal is traditionally served with green beans and oven roasted potatoes.
Top tip: Whilst allowing the meat to rest, you may wish to place the excess fat in a pan, and place on the stove at a low heat. Add a large glass of chicken stock, deglaze the pan and leave to reduce. This can be served as your sauce.
For a perfect wine match, try the lamb with a classic Rioja – Berts serve a Vina Bujanda Rioja Crianza that’s hard to beat!