The most delicious leg of lamb recipe, ever!
And it is not down to me, but to the late James Beard, a brilliant American chef who died aged 81 in 1985. Among the many things he said on the importance of good food is ‘If ever I had to practice cannibalism, I might manage if there were enough tarragon around.’ And part of his love of tarragon is seen in this recipe.
One leg of lamb
A huge bunch of tarragon
A handful of butter
large quantities of double cream
Those measurements are an illustration of his zest for all things delicious in abundance.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC
- Chop the tarragon and mix it with butter.
- Slather the mixture on top of the leg of lamb and sprinkle with salt.
- Put it in the oven for an hour and 3/4 and while it is in the oven, occasionally spoon the juice on top of the lamb.
- After an hour or so take it out of the oven to drizzle about 2 tbsp of cream on top of the lamb. Put it back in the oven and repeat every now and then.
- Just to assist your waistline a little more, after the cooking time is over (I think it is really good left in for an hour longer so the lamb falls off the bone, or even 2 hours longer, but that is up to you and how you like your lamb), place the leg on a board to rest, put the pan over a medium heat and add another cup of double cream. Season and stir until you have a very rich and delicious gravy. You could add a little hot water to make it go a little further and also to thin it a little.
- Serve with potatoes of some sort and some fine thin green beans. There is so much flavour in the gravy that it should be allowed to compliment its accompaniments rather than the other way around, so no further bold flavours necessary.