Here is a fresh take on Christmas fare, with this slow roasted leg of lamb covered in a hazelnut pesto.
Make the pesto in advance:
- 100 g hazelnuts
- grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- grated rind of 1 orange
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 125 ml olive oil
- 6 anchovies in olive oil, drained and chopped
- 100 g roasted breadcrumbs
- 12 mint leaves, chopped
Prepare hazelnut pesto:
Preheat the oven to 160°C, place the hazelnuts on a roasting tray and roast for about 10 –15 minutes. Rub with a clean dishcloth to remove skins. Roughly crush the nuts. Heat the lemon peel and juice, the orange peel, garlic and half of the olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat for about two minutes, allowing the flavours to develop. Remove from the heat, and stir in the anchovies, hazelnuts, breadcrumbs and remaining olive oil. Season with more lemon juice and black pepper to taste.
LEG OF LAMB:
- 2.5 kg leg of lamb
- olive oil
- 3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves stripped off
- 12 fresh figs, torn in half
- fresh rocket leaves drizzled with fresh lemon juice and olive oil
Prepare leg of lamb:
Preheat oven to 160°C. Heat a little olive oil in an oven roasting pan to a high heat and brown the leg on all sides to seal the meat.
Season with salt and black pepper, and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, cover with aluminium foil and roast for 3-4 hours, or until meat is soft. Remove the leg from the oven, cover and allow to stand in a warm place for about 10 minutes.
Place the figs on a roasting tray and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Carve the meat and arrange the slices on a platter. Spoon over the figs and the hazelnut pesto, top with the rocket leaves, and serve, preferably with a hearty read.
Recipe from Food24, originally published in Home Magazine.