Lavender leg of lamb in hay

Lavender leg of lamb in hay

More Home Comforts
Peter Cassidy

Unusual I know, but pet shop hay is best for this, as what it produces is an earthy flavour. It’s great with lamb and chicken. If you like, you can use a shoulder of lamb rather than a leg, but it will need longer, slower cooking at a lower temperature.


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 2.7kg whole long leg of lamb
a small handful fresh picked lavender
1/2 bag eating hay, (from a pet shop)
50g softened unsalted butter
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
10 king edward potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 or 3 pieces
75g beef dripping or vegetable oil
75ml malt vinegar
25g caster sugar
1 large bunch mint, eaves picked, finely chopped
400g purple-stemmed broccoli


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Pierce the leg of lamb about 10–12 times with the point of a knife, then push pieces of lavender into the holes.
  2. Put the hay into a large deep-sided roasting tray, big enough to take the lamb, and sprinkle the rest of the lavender over the top. Place the lamb on the hay, then smear the softened butter over the top, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 2–3 hours, until cooked to your liking. Remove and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, put the potatoes into a large saucepan, cover with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, then drain in a colander and shake around to fluff up the edges.
  4. When the lamb has about an hour left to cook, put the beef dripping into a large roasting tray and tip the potatoes on top. Sprinkle with salt and place in the oven for 30 minutes, until starting to turn golden-brown and crisp. Turn the potatoes and return them to the oven for a further 20–30 minutes.
  5. Heat the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan until simmering, then remove from the heat and stir in the chopped mint.
  6. When ready to serve, bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the broccoli and simmer for 2–3 minutes until just tender. Drain, and season with salt and pepper and a knob of butter.
  7. Lift the lamb from the hay, then carve and serve with the roast potatoes, mint sauce and broccoli.
Home Comforts
British food
classic recipes
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