Ferndale Lamb

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Portmeirion for AGA White Roasting Dish
Portmeirion for AGA White Roasting Dish

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  • 2.5-3 lb (1.1-1.3kg) leg of lamb
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 50ml (2 fl oz) milk
  • 3-4 cloves of plump garlic
  • 6-8 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 25g (1 oz) soft butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) dry white wine
  • 4 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 75ml (2.5 fl oz) vegetable stock
  • 75ml (2.5 fl oz) crème fraiche


If necessary, have your butcher cut the end of the leg bone so that it can be bent around so that the joint fits the roasting dish snugly. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator an hour before cooking. Drain the anchovy fillets, pat dry with kitchen paper and leave to soak in the milk to remove excess salt. With a small sharp knife, cut small 2.5cm (1 inch) incisions in rows across the whole of the top of the lamb, each cut approximately 2.5cm (1 inch) apart.

Peel the garlic and cut each clove into 6-8 even slivers. Tear the rosemary to make 24 plumes each 4cm (1.5 inch) long. Smear the lamb with the butter and insert alternately the slivers of garlic and rosemary into the incisions. Season well and then place the prepared lamb in a deep serving or roasting dish.

2, 3 and 4 oven AGA: Hang the dish as near to the top of the Roasting Oven as possible, on the second or third set of runners. Roast for 30 minutes, until browned, turning after 15 minutes. Drain off the fat and discard. Drain and add the anchovies and cover loosely with foil.

Transfer to the floor of the Simmering Oven for about 1 hour for lamb a little pink, allow 30 minutes longer for well done.

Conventional Cooking: Preheat your oven to 180C (350F), Gas Mark 4. Roast in the centre of the oven for an hour and then an extra 20-40 minutes once the anchovies have been added.

Remove the cooked lamb and keep on a warmed platter. Add the wine and use a spoon to skim off fat floating on the surface of the gravy. Place on the Boiling Plate and use a flat ended wooden spatula to incorporate the browned deposits into the wine.

Whisk in the redcurrant jelly stock, and crème fraiche. Boil to reduce to your preferred consistency. Taste and correct seasoning and strain into a warmed gravy boat.

By Richard Maggs

AGA Cookery Doctor

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