lamb cooked in milk

Florence Knight

This inexpensive centrepiece is slow-cooked on the bone, producing flavourful, succulent meat. For the most tender results insist on “spring” lamb, which is slaughtered at about four to five months old. Once cooked, the meat should be so soft you can carve it with a spoon.

serves 4 people

20g butter, softened
1 bunch of rosemary, 3 sprigs finely chopped
1 bulb of garlic, separated into whole cloves, with one finely grated
1 bone-in leg of lamb (about 2.5kg), at room temperature
2 tbsp mild olive oil
500ml whole milk

Heat the oven to 180C (non-fan 200C). In a bowl, beat the butter with the chopped rosemary, grated garlic, ¼ tsp sea salt and black pepper.

Place a large heavy-bottomed pan over a high heat. Rub the lamb with the olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Once the pan is almost beginning to smoke, add the joint and brown evenly for a few minutes on each side. Turn off the heat and transfer the leg to a large roasting tray. Use a sharp knife to make little incisions all over, then rub with the rosemary butter. Wrap the joint tightly in foil and roast in the oven for 1 hour.

Reduce the oven to 150C (170C non-fan) and carefully remove the foil. Pour over the milk and nestle the remaining rosemary sprigs and whole garlic cloves around and on top of the leg. Roast for a further 3½ hours, turning and rewrapping the joint in foil halfway through.

Remove from the oven and allow the joint to rest for 20 minutes before serving.