This is the most-tried recipe for roast lamb with potatoes in the oven! It’s the one that (with a few minor variations) I have been sharing with my guests for twenty years now, and which has successfully passed the endurance test of three ex-wives and respective ex-mothers-in-law. If that means anything to you, you will sympathize. Fascinating is the fact that this recipe is the simplest possible one, and at the same time the most reliable.
The roast lamb with potatoes is an essential family fixture at every big festive gathering, a kind of a culinary “coat of arms.” Relatives, parents, uncles and cousins cannot imagine an invitation without it as a main course. If Facebook had a “crispy lamb” group, all the family would be members. The recipe, however, at the same time has nothing to do with the family tradition.
It is, rather, the outcome of a revolutionary act of culinary re-defining, which, thank God, is universally accepted, even among those who had stated strongly that they “do not like lamb”. I remember guests who emphatically refused to succumb to lamb’s charm, and who finally conceded when suddenly initiated into this epicurean delight, dropping their former taboo.
But let’s get back to our subject! The secret of success, as always, is the quality of the main ingredient, the lamb, meaning: a 6-7 month-old lamb, weighing at most 8 kilos, locally produced and fresh.
Crispy roast lamb with potatoes
(or goat, of course)
Preparation: 20-30 minutes (depending on whether you peel off the potatoes), and 2½-3 hours for cooking. Easy recipe.
Ingredients (serves 6)
3-3.5 kg of lamb (or half a lamb)
4-5 garlic cloves
1.5 kg small new potatoes with their skin on or regular potatoes, peeled and cut into large wedges
4 tsp mustard powder
juice of 2 lemons
150 ml dry white wine
200 ml olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves only
3 tsp thyme
5 pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 180° C, using the fan-assisted function. If the oven doesn’t offer the possibility to cook with air, roasting will take at least an extra half an hour and you might need to grill it at the end to make it crispy.
To prepare the roast lamb with potatoes: Pat-dry the lamb with kitchen paper and place it on the roasting pan. Cut garlic cloves in half, press with a garlic press and rub garlic all over the lamb, inside and out.
Add potatoes to the pan. Pour over the wine, lemon, mustard, rosemary and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle on top and bottom with thyme. Put in the oven and turn the lamb every half an hour, stirring carefully the potatoes.
Depending on the oven, baking should take 2½-3 hours, so you will have to turn the lamb at least 5 times. Do not remove until the skin is crispy and has a deep honeyish colour and the meat has a dark brown colour. Only then the crispy roast lamp in the oven is ready.
Note: The process described above reduces the fat of the lamb and makes the meat extremely tasteful, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. If instead of lamb you roast goat, which has less fat, reduce the overall time by approximately 30 minutes and use only top and bottom heat (do not switch the oven to fan-assisted cooking). Also, if potatoes are cut in small pieces, add them to the pan later on.