Fan of true dude food? We are, which is why we’re cooking our way through GQ Eats, the magazine’s new cookbook. Particularly the chapter titled Michelin-Starred Meals At Home. Between the hunks of meat, spectacular sides and cocktails we’d make by the pitcher, our takeout-ordering skills are getting rusty. Not that you can order a sweet roasted leg of lamb for takeout, anyway.
When it comes to British Michelin-starred chefs, we could never ignore the foul-mouthed, fantastically talented and utterly unforgettable Gordon Ramsay. This roast leg of lamb is one of his most popular recipes and, once you’ve made it, you’ll understand why.
- 1 leg of lamb (about 4 pounds, 8 ounces), fat trimmed, skin scored in a crisscross pattern
- olive oil, to drizzle
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 garlic cloves, unpeeled and halved
- few sprigs of thyme
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 4 apples (Russets or Braeburns), sliced into quarters and cores cut out
- 2 1/4 cups medium cider
- runny honey, to drizzle
- 1 cup lamb or chicken stock
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Weigh the lamb and calculate the final cooking time at 12 minutes per pound for medium-rare, 15 minutes for medium.
- Drizzle the lamb with olive oil, then rub all over with salt and pepper.
- Place the joint in a deep roasting pan and scatter the garlic and thyme over and around. Pour over the lemon juice and drizzle again with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little more seasoning, then roast for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F. Scatter the apples around the pan and baste the lamb with cider. Turn the meat over and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of honey.
- Return the lamb on to the oven for 30 minutes. Turn it around, baste with the pan juices, then drizzle over another tablespoon of honey. Continue to roast for the calculated time. To check if it is done, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the lamb, then press lightly – the redder the juices are, the rarer the meat is.
- Lift the lamb to a carving board and cover with foil. Rest it in a warm place while you prepare the gravy.
- At this point, the apples and garlic in the roasting pan should be very soft. Press them with a fork, then tip the entire contents of the pan into a fine sieve over a saucepan. Push down with the back of a ladle to extract all the juices and flavor from the apples and garlic. Discard the pulp. Place the saucepan over a medium heat and add the stock. Bring to the boil and let it bubble vigorously until the sauce has thickened to a desired gravy consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then pour the gravy into a warm serving jug.
- Carve the lamb into thin slices and serve drizzled with the apple and cider gravy. Crisp roast potatoes and steamed tenderstem broccoli make the perfect accompaniments to this dish.
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