Cooking in the summer can seem easy but after a while you can be sick of salads and barbecued food so for my husband's recent birthday meal I made this simple lamb dish which felt summery with mediterranean flavours but beat a burnt burger or scorched sausage hands down. It also has the benefit of being gluten free!
I love recipes which have very few ingredients and an unfussy prep. I saw many versions of this type of meal online but pared down the method to be streamlined. I didn't want to spend too long fussing in the kitchen!
The key to the dish is the meat rub. I blended 1 tbsp each of dried oregano, smoked paprika, and mint sauce then added lots of chopped garlic, about half a cup of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to create a wet rub.
I stabbed a few slits into the lamb leg to allow the rub to penetrate the meat and covered the whole joint with it.
The joint was placed on a rack in a roasting tin and I added half a pint of water to the bottom of the pan then loosely tented foil over the lot. I added another cup full when the lamb had about 35 minutes to go when I removed the foil. Save the foil to cover the meat later when it's resting.
I cooked the lamb for the time suggested for a medium/rare finish by the package instructions. For the joint I had which served 7 this was about 21/2 hours.
While it was cooking I peeled and quartered two brown (sometimes called yellow) onions and washed then cut 8 potatoes into wedges, leaving the skin on.
They went into a roasting tin with a good sprinkle of paprika, a glug of olive oil and a generous amount of salt with garlic seasoning pre-added. You could use garlic powder.
When the lamb had about 45 mins left I bunged the tray with potatoes and onion in the oven with it.
When the lamb was done, I took it out to rest and left the potatoes cooking while I made long grain rice and toasted pine nuts on a cast iron griddle.
To serve I simply covered the bottom of a large serving dish with rice, sprinkled with pine nuts, topped with potatoes and piled carved lamb on the top. You can just lie the leg of lamb on top and carve it at the table but I thought it was easier to serve ready carved if not as pretty.
I used a spoon to mix all the juices left in the lamb tin and then poured it all over, making sure it seeped from the edges to the rice underneath. This sounds a bit scary but actually it's more meaty gravy than oily mess.
I added lemon wedges and served alongside roasted tomatoes, courgettes, mixed peppers and red onion.
Diners use a big spoon to scoop up meat, potatoes and rice then add a squeeze of fresh lemon and viola! A tasty summer meal which is lighter than it sounds.