Our friend and loyal customer, Marcus Wareing offers his best recipe for the perfect roast lamb with mint sauce, dauphinoise potatoes, roasted courgettes and cherry tomatoes and mushy peas.

Roast lamb with garlic, rosemary and mint sauce

This is a wonderfully traditional Sunday roast lamb with all the trimmings. My northern roots mean I can’t have a plate of roast lamb without mushy peas and mint sauce. I also love the French-style roasted vegetables and Dauphinoise potatoes.

Studding the lamb with the garlic and rosemary a couple of hours before you roast it helps the flavour to permeate the flesh.

  • About 6 fat cloves garlic
  • 12 tips of fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Leg of lamb, about 4.5 lb/2kg
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mint sauce:

  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp boiling water
  • A big pinch of ground cumin
  • 6 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

Peel the garlic and cut each clove in half lengthways. Tear off the tips from the rosemary sprigs (use the rest elsewhere). Stab the lamb about 12 times and insert a piece of garlic and a rosemary tip into each hole. Chill for another couple of hours so the flavour is absorbed, then remove from the fridge half an hour before roasting.

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Brush the lamb with oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast for 20 minutes until lightly browned. Turn the heat down to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and roast for about 1.75 hours, basting occasionally. If you have a meat thermometer, the internal reading should be 75C/170F. (For different-sized joints, allow 25 minutes per 1 lb or 55 minutes per 1kg.)

When the lamb is ready, remove and allow to stand for 20 minutes. It can be covered loosely with foil and will stay quite warm. When you carve the lamb, save any juices to drizzle back over the meat slices. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water and add a pinch or two of cumin. Mix with the vinegar. Add the chopped mint just before serving so it stays bright green.

Pommes Dauphinoise

This lovely classic dish can be made ahead and reheated while the lamb rests before carving. Cook it on the top shelf of the oven, above the lamb.

  • 2 lb 4oz/1kg large potatoes, eg Maris Piper or Desiree
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 fat clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 10 fl oz/250ml double cream
  • 15 fl oz/375ml milk
  • 2oz/55g Gruyere cheese, grated (optional)

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

Peel the potatoes and slice into .25in/5mm rounds. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes to soften slightly.

Layer the potatoes and onions in a shallow ovenproof dish, seasoning each layer and adding a little nutmeg. Bring the cream and milk to the boil, then pour the mixture over the potatoes, lifting the layers with a fork so the liquid seeps between them.

Sprinkle the cheese over the top, then place the dish on a baking tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the centre is soft when a skewer is inserted. Allow the dish to stand for at least 15 minutes before serving. (If you bake it ahead, reheat in a low oven for about 15 minutes).

Roasted courgettes and cherry tomatoes

  • 3 medium-size courgettes
  • 9oz/255g cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh basil

Make this dish while you cook the leg of lamb (the oven should be heated to 180C/350F/gas mark 4).

Slice the courgettes diagonally so they are about .5in/1cm thick. Destalk the tomatoes and mix with the courgettes.

Toss in the olive oil, mixing well to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Tear half the basil into shreds and mix it in.

Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the courgettes start to soften. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes. This will soften them a little more. Garnish with the remaining basil.

Mushy peas

This classic accompaniment to roast lamb is almost embarrassingly simple.

  • 14oz/400g mushy peas
  • A good knob of butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the peas with the butter and pepper to taste. Reheat in a small pan or a bowl in the microwave.

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