A great dinner party dish with a wow factor.
This recipe has kindly been provided by chef Tom Welch of Wild Garlic
· a few handfuls of hay
· 125g soft butter
· several good sprigs each of rosemary, marjoram and thyme, chopped
· 2 garlic cloves, crushed
· 1 leg of mutton or good-sized leg of lamb
· salt and freshly ground black pepper
Choose a deep roasting tin,preferably with a lid (if you don’t have one with a lid, you can use foil).Line it generously with loose hay, about 5–6cm deep.
Put the soft butter in a bowl, add the chopped herbs, garlic, plenty of black pepper and a little salt and mix well. Smear in a thick and even layer all over the mutton or lamb. Place the meat on its nest of hay and then cover with the rest of the hay. Cover with the lid, or a double layer of foil wrapped well around the edge of the dish. Make sure there are no loose bits of hay poking out (they may catch fire).
Bake in the centre of the top oven reading lower part of very hot for 2–2/12 hours, depending on the size of the leg. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes. Then take off the lid, scrape away the blackened hay and carve as normal. Any juices from the pan can be poured off and used for gravy, although I tend to forego the gravy, preferring to serve this dish with boiled flageolet beans heated through in the juices and fat from the meat.
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