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Hay-baked stuffed leg of lamb New-recipe-icon

Try something different with roast lamb and make this Sunday centrepiece cooked in hay – it adds a sweet smoky flavour. Just make sure it's free of pesticides

  • Prep: 30 mins
    Cook: 1 hrs 30 mins
    plus resting
  • Serves 6
  • More effort
  • Serves 6
  • More effort
  • Calories 435
  • Carbohydrates 6
  • Saturated Fat 11
  • Sugar 1
  • Protein 42
  • Fat 26
  • Fibre 2
  • Salt 0.7

Nutrition per serving

  • Calories 435
  • Carbohydrates 6
  • Saturated Fat 11
  • Sugar 1
  • Protein 42
  • Fat 26
  • Fibre 2
  • Salt 0.7

Ingredients

  • 250g kale, stalks removed
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 anchovies, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 70g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1½ kg leg of lamb, part tunnel-boned, shank still attached (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 2 bunches rosemary
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 100g hay, toasted (for 8-10 mins at 160C/140C fan/ gas 3, optional)
  • 500ml lamb or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • butchers' string to tie the lamb

Tip

Top tips for cooking
The lamb needs to be partly boned but left whole – ask your butcher to tunnel bone it. Roasting in hay adds a sweet smokiness and looks stunning, but if you don’t want to, you’ll still have a delicious Easter centrepiece without it. The hay needs to be free of pesticides – the type for pets is ideal. I love stuffing lamb with greens, which can change seasonally, using wild garlic, chard or spinach instead. Anchovies help to season the greens, but if anyone isn’t keen, simply leave out or carve the side for them and leave the stuffed middle for everyone else.

Method

  1. Cook the kale in boiling water until just wilted, then refresh in iced water. Drain and carefully squeeze the excess water from the kale, then roughly chop. Tip into a mixing bowl, stir in the garlic, anchovies, zest and breadcrumbs, and season (add lots of pepper). Pack the stuffing into the cavity of the lamb and tie with string – it doesn’t matter if it’s messy, just make sure the filling is secured. Can be prepared up to a day ahead and kept in the fridge.

  2. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/ gas 5. Mix the herbs with the hay (if using), transfer to a deep roasting tin, then pour over the stock. Nestle the lamb on top, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 1 hr 20 mins for pink lamb, adding 10 mins if you want it cooked through and another 10 mins for well done. Rest for 20 mins, then carve into thick slices and serve.

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