There is something about a roast lamb to celebrate Easter that just feels right. And incorporating lots of lovely spring flavours and seasonal veg helps bring promise of the longer sun-filled days and lighter evenings ahead. This recipe pairs gorgeous garlic and rosemary with a meltingly tender slow-cooked joint and leaves plenty of time for a long family walk or Easter egg hunt before getting stuck in. Start a day in advance to allow the lamb to marinate fully.
8 cloves garlic
A few sprigs rosemary
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp coarse sea salt
2kg leg or shoulder of lamb
150ml white wine
500g mixed colour carrots
A few sprigs thyme
500g bag of frozen mixed peas and beans
200g fine green beans
1 bunch fresh mint
1 bag rocket
Peel the garlic cloves and strip the leaves from the rosemary. Put them into a mini food processor with 3 tbsp olive oil and 2 tsp coarse sea salt, and whizz to a paste (or finely chop the garlic and herbs and mix well with olive oil and salt.) Rub the paste all over the lamb joint, season with black pepper and allow to marinate overnight or for a few hours at least.
Remove the lamb from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature for an hour or so. Preheat the oven to 180. Put the lamb into a deep roasting tin and roast in the oven for half an hour until browned on top. Baste with the juices from the pan, then pour the white wine around the lamb. Reduce the oven temperature to 130, and cover the tin tightly foil.
Roast in the oven for 4 hours, basting the lamb around once an hour until the meat is soft and juicy and falls away from the bone.
While the lamb is cooking, prepare your carrots. Halve or quarter any larger ones horizontally, then put them into a pan of cold salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer for ten minutes. Drain, and put them into a roasting tin with a good crack of sea salt, a couple of glugs of olive oil and the thyme sprigs.
After the lamb has cooked slow and low for 4 hours, take it out of the oven, remove the foil and baste again. Whack the oven heat up to 180, put the lamb back in on the bottom shelf, uncovered, and put the carrots in to roast on the top shelf. Give it all 25 minutes, then remove it from the oven to rest.
Put the frozen peas and beans and green beans into a pan of salted boiling water, bring back to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then drain and plunge into cold water.
Drain the green veg and put it all into a large serving dish along with the carrots. Zest over the lemon and add the chopped feta. Juice the lemon into a small dish, add a glug or two of olive oil and mix with a good pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper.
Finely chop the mint and add it to the veg, along with the rocket, before drizzling over the lemony dressing.
Shred the lamb from the bone and pile it into a serving dish.
Bring it all to the table and serve up – with some nice buttered new potatoes or thick slices of bread on the side if you like.