First thanks to Cristina for her garlic rosemary and pancetta leg of lamb recipe.
Normally leg of lamb cooks quickly but I cooked this joint at a very low heat over four hours to accommodate lamb eaters who like their meat succulent but not pink.
You'll need a 4lb leg of lamb, off the bone (I had mine butterflied by our local butcher). This will serve six people. Make 30 – 40 little incisions in the meat using a paring knife. Stuff the incisions with slivers of raw garlic, fresh rosemary and cubed Italian pancetta.
Keep two cloves of garlic and a handful of rosemary for the basting sauce (leg of lamb has very little fat so it's worth basting the meat every hour to prevent it drying out.)
Place the lamb in a deep roasting pan and add one bottle of white wine. Cover with aluminum foil and place in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F (130 degrees C). Cook for one hour.
In the meantime, in a mini food processor, blend together the extra garlic and rosemary with two tablespoons of olive oil, a knob of butter and salt and pepper. (For my recipe I add 10 wild garlic leaves that are found wild in Wales this time of the year and have a wonderful rich and pungent aroma). The blended mixture should be spreadable but not runny.
After an hour, baste/coat the meat with the half of the mixture and return to the oven. Cook for another two hours basting each hour.
For the last half hour of cooking I added 1lb baby new potatoes, a sliced red onion and two large cubed parsnips to the pan along with chopped sage and rosemary, making sure first to reserve some of the pan liquid for gravy and then coat the root veg with the remaining pan juices.
After 30 minutes remove the meat and let rest while turning up the oven to 400 degrees and finishing the potatoes and parsnips at the high heat, stirring from time to time. The result is a wonderfully carmelized accompaniment to the lamb.
Serve the lamb, and root veg with sauteed kale or purple sprouting broccoli.