Butterflied leg of lamb in Middleham, Yorkshire

This weekend I went to North Yorkshire to stay with some friends who are in the British Army. If you haven’t been to this part of the world before, I cannot recommend it more, it has to be some of the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen and the towns have remained totally unspoiled with no big coffee chains dominating the high street, but instead lots of pubs, independent shops and cafes.

After a trip to Barnard Castle and a look around the Bowes museum, we headed homeΒ via Campbells in the town of Leyburn. Shopping at Campbells was a tourist attraction in itself, although it was on the expensive side, hence it’s nickname ‘Fortnums of the North,’ they do sell the most amazing chutneys and pates and have a fantastic butcher. We ordered a leg of lamb, and asked the butcher to kindly butterfly it for us, which means removing the bone.


So, back at the ranch, Sarah and I decided to set to work cooking a butterfly leg of lamb, with potato dauphinoise, maple syrup glazed carrots and parsnips, purple sprouting broccoli and a red wine gravy…


For the butterfly leg of lamb you will need:

  • 1 leg of lamb butterflied (ask butcher to do this)
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • a bunch of fresh rosemary
  • a glass of red wine
  • a glug of good olive oil
  • 1 white onion

Marinate the lamb in all of the above ingredients bar the onion and leave for as long as possible. Take it out from the fridge about an hour before you want to cook it, to allow it to come back to room temperature.

roast lamb

Get your oven heating up to 200 degrees and then slice your onion and sit the lamb on top. Cook for 15 minutes per 450g, which for us was 1 hour. Make sure you rest your lamb for half an hour before eating.

For the potato dauphinoise, you need the following:

  • 1 bag of King Edward or Maris Piper potatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 500ml of double cream
  • 500ml of milk
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • butter

Potato dauphinoise has to be an all time favourite of mine. It’s really not difficult to make and is beyond numma. First off, peel your potatoes and then slice them as finely as possible into discs. If you have a mandolin this takes no time at all, although we actually did this in front of the rugby match with a cup of tea, which made it much more fun.


Once the potatoes are prepared, rub the base and sides of your baking dish with a clove of garlic and then layer potatoes on the bottom. Sprinkle over a clove of minced garlic, salt, pepper and a few knobs of butter before topping with a bit of the cream and milk mixture.


Continue to layer like this, and then add to the top a sprinkling of grated nutmeg. Cover with tin foil and cook for 1 hour, before removing the foil Β and cooking for a further half an hour to brown the top.

Roast your carrots and parsnips in olive oil for about 45 mins at 200 degrees, and then add some maple syrup and continue to roast for another 20 minutes until they are caramelised.

Finally. for the gravy you will need:

  • flour
  • redcurrant jelly
  • lamb stock
  • red wine
  • balsamic vinegar

In the roasting tray used for the lamb, add a dessertspoon of flour to the corner of the pan and gently incorporate into the lamb juices until you have a paste. Let this cook for a couple of minutes before adding any leftover marinade, a cup of stock, a glass of red wine, a tablespoon of redcurrant jelly and a splurge of balsamic vinegar. Allow this to reduce to your desired consistency and then sieve to remove the onions and rosemary. In the meantime boil your purple sprouting until al dente.


Then, all that’s left to do is allow everyone to help themselves and enjoy this feast with your friends.


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