Leg of lamb with braised celeriac, fennel and bitter leaves

8
1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Leg of lamb

  • 1 leg of lamb, roughly 2kg, butterflied
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Salsa verde

  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tsp capers, rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 handfuls of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
  • 1 handful of fresh mint
  • 6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

Braised vegetables

  • 150ml of olive oil
  • 4 small onions, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 fennel bulbs, (large) chopped into small pieces
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and chopped into 2.5cm cubes
  • 4 handfuls of dandelion leaves, puntarelle, and other bitter leaves
  • 250ml of water
  • 2 handfuls of dill, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt
  • black pepper

Method

1
Place a large cast iron frying pan over a medium-low heat until hot. Liberally coat the fat layer of the lamb in salt and place, fat-side down, in the hot pan. Leave to gently cook, undisturbed, for 30 minutes
  • 1 leg of lamb, roughly 2kg, butterflied
  • sea salt
2
While the lamb is cooking, make the salsa verde. Finely chop together all the ingredients to make a coarse paste. Transfer to a bowl, stir through the oil and set aside
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tsp capers, rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 handfuls of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
  • 1 handful of fresh mint
  • 6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
3
Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2
4
Once the lamb has cooked on one side, turn the leg over and leave to cook for 15–20 minutes, until cooked through but still a little pink in the middle. To test whether the meat is ready, insert a metal skewer into the centre – it should come out hot to the touch
5
Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for a further 10–12 minutes, until crisp. Remove from the oven, season with black pepper and leave to rest for 45 minutes
  • black pepper
6
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Place the oil in a wide, heavy bottomed pan and gently heat up
  • 150ml of olive oil
  • 2 small onions
7
Add the onions and allow to soften (but not colour) in the warm oil. Add the fennel, bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 5 minutes over a very low heat. Add the celeriac, bitter leaves and water to the pan (if using watercress or spinach, do not add at this stage, simply stir through the leaves at the end of cooking). Stir and cover the pan with a lid, leaving to cook gently over a very low heat for 30 minutes, shaking occasionally
  • 1 fennel bulb, large
  • 2 small onions, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 fennel bulb, (large) chopped into small pieces
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and chopped into 2.5cm cubes
  • 4 handfuls of dandelion leaves, puntarelle, and other bitter leaves
  • 250ml of water
8
Remove the cooked vegetables from the heat and stir through the chopped dill, salsa verde and lemon juice and season to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 handfuls of dill, roughly chopped
  • salt
  • black pepper
9
To serve, carve the lamb into even slices and divide between plates. Heap a mound of braised vegetables onto each plate and finish with any remaining lamb juices from the pan