Lifestyles 55 Articles

Those fluffy white clouds live on in memory. But the lamb is here and now. Let’s eat!

Ian Leatt

The walks through the fields enjoying Mother Nature in the spring feel different today. My memory is always of little white fluffy clouds bouncing all around. I was young, but I recall always asking what they were. Gran always said, “Lamb, Ian!” It looked like they were having so much fun. As I got older I realized what they really were.

But I am, after all, an omnivore. With spring comes lamb, and now that I think of it, lamb really does taste good. I look forward to the dish each time it’s on the dinner menu. From the aroma to the flavours, lamb will always be one of my favourite meats.

The treat this time is a shoulder, deboned and rolled. So easy to carve! One particular dish is always in my thoughts in this season: roasted vegetables, fresh gravy, mint sauce and beautifully roasted lamb. With that, I’m in heaven for sure.

Roasted vegetables, fresh gravy, mint sauce
and beautifully roasted lamb.


1 leg of lamb (5 to 7 pounds), deboned and rolled. Ask your butcher.
4 small red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
6 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper, both fresh ground
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary
8 cloves of garlic
6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 cups sugar snap peas
¼ cup garlic powder
1 tablespoon corn starch
½ cup of red wine

Pre-heat the oven to 325 F.

This is one of the easiest roasts you will ever make. Wash the leg of lamb. Place it in a roasting pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the meat. Season with 2 cloves of garlic halved, fresh ground sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Finally dress with 3 sprigs of rosemary. Cover and place in the oven.

After 1½ hours check the temperature of the meat. If it reads 160 F in the centre, remove from the oven and place on a warmed plate. Cover with foil and leave it to sit. Typically, lamb takes 20 to 25 minutes for medium roasting (light pink in colour).

Place the roasting pan on top of the stove at medium temperature. Add a cup of water and one-half cup of red wine, and allow the liquid to reduce. Stir constantly, trying to pick up as much as possible of the liquid left behind from the lamb. Once it is reduced by half, strain the liquid through a sieve into a pan. Bring to a boil and add a little corn starch, again stirring constantly until the gravy reaches the consistency you desire.

To produce nice, crisp, roasted vegetables, I always blanche first, the time period depending on the type. For this meal we have potatoes (8 minutes) carrots (6 minutes) parsnips (4 minutes). Once all have been blanched, place the vegetables into another roasting pan, season lightly with salt and pepper, place randomly on top the 6 remaining halved garlic cloves and remaining sprigs of rosemary. Finally pour the remaining olive oil over the vegetables and place the roasting pan in the oven. Roast until all the vegetables are nice and crisp; the potatoes should be golden in colour. This should take no more than 30 minutes.

Lay out a fresh carved slice of lamb on each dinner plate with vegetables at its side and pour a little gravy over the meat. Enjoy.

Ian Leatt, a former, popular chef in his native Jersey, is general manager of Pegasus Publications.

Author: Lifestyles55
Lifestyles 55 is a Winnipeg paper that provides readers in their 50s and older with information on matters affecting their daily lives.
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