This is an impressive way to present a Sunday roast, particularly if you are offering a generous leg of lamb. It is an honest dish with little pretension – just lovely spring lamb served with broccoli, beans and potatoes. Whether at home or in the restaurants, we never waste the broccoli stalks. Trim off the hard woody skins around the base and you’ll end up with a lovely, sweet and crunchy core. For the picture, I’ve chilled, sliced, reheated and presented the potato dauphinois in a fun and modern way, but you could simply bring it to the table in its gratin dish.
For the potato dauphinois, preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3. Peel the potatoes and put them into a bowl of water to prevent them from getting brown. Thinly slice the potatoes using a mandolin or very sharp knife and place in another large bowl. Add the crushed garlic and season well with grated nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour two-thirds of the cream over the potatoes and mix well. Layer the potatoes into a gratin dish and pour over the rest of the cream. Press down the potatoes with a fork or spatula, so the cream reaches the top layer of potatoes. If necessary, top up with more cream. Bake the potatoes for 1 hour, until tender and golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and set aside, lightly covered with foil.
Increase the oven temperature to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Place the leg of lamb on a large baking tray. Use a pestle and mortar to crush the garlic cloves and salt to a fine paste. Stir in the chopped rosemary and a splash of olive oil then rub the paste all over the lamb. Pop the tray into the oven and roast for about 1 hour for medium-rare meat. (Roast for another 15 minutes if you prefer the lamb well done.) Remove the lamb from the oven, loosely cover with foil and leave to rest for 15–20 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 180ºC/ Gas Mark 4. While the lamb is resting, pop the potato dauphinois into the oven for 10–15 minutes to reheat. Place the carrots in a pan of boiling salted water and boil until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of iced water to cool, then drain on kitchen paper. Add the broccoli stalk to the water and blanch for 1 minute, then add the florets and blanch for a further minute. Cool in iced water and drain. Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan, then add the carrots and broccoli stalk and cook for 3–4 minutes or until everything begins to brown all over, then add the florets to the pan, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Season well to taste. Carve the lamb at the table and serve with the vegetables and potato dauphinois.
Recipe from Jason Atherton’s SOCIAL SUPPERS, published by Bloomsbury Publishing. Photography by John Carey.
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