From Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson
1.5kg (approx.) boned and butterflied leg of lamb
6 fresh bay leaves, snipped plus whole leaves (optional) to serve
2 tsp sea salt flakes, or to taste
4 x 15ml tbsp olive oil
2 x 15ml tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1.Preheat the oven to 220C. Get out a shallow but sturdy roasting tin and put the butterflied leg of lamb in it, skin-side down.
2. Scatter with the snipped bay laves and half the salt and pour the oil and vinegar over the lamb, then push the garlic slices into crevices where you can and lay the rest on top. Leave to marinate just until the lamb gets to room temperature.
3.Turn the lamb over, so it is now skin-side up, sprinkle with the remaining salt flakes and roast in the hot oven for 30 mins.
4.Remove from the oven, tent with foil, and let it stand for 15 mins: this will give you lusciously pink lamb; if you want the mat slightly less pink, then let it stand, under its foil, for 30 mins.
5.I like to slice the meat and serve it in its piquant juices in the tin, but if you prefer – and for more formal occasions it dos make sense – you can arrange the mat on a warmed serving platter and add a little boiling water – maybe an espresso cupful or so – to the juices in the tin before pouring them over the meat on the platter. A few more fresh bay leaves strewn over the meat will add to the aesthetic pleasure of the arrangement too.
I get my butcher to bone and butterfly my leg of lamb. This is the easiest, speediest way to cook a joint of meat. Plus, you dispense with all the difficult carving (I am an embarrassingly inept carver myself).