Serves 4-6

At this time of year our native spring lambs, if you can find whole ones, or single joints, are perfect for roasting, following this recipe. Sayell Foods (020-7256 1080 or www.sayellfoods.co.uk) have 5.5kg lambs from Spain which are ideal for spit roasting. Or you could use goat, as the monks of Hora do. But how many of us can be persuaded to hold a good old social gathering around a spit roast? I suppose we should blame it on the weather, but perhaps we're also wary of cooking whole animals. So I've given the recipe for a leg of lamb. Ideally, ask your butcher to tunnel bone the leg. This involves boning it out around and along the bone without cutting the actual meat so that the stuffing can easily be put in without tying. Ask him to leave the knucklebone attached to look good and stop the stuffing coming out.

At this time of year our native spring lambs, if you can find whole ones, or single joints, are perfect for roasting, following this recipe. Sayell Foods (020-7256 1080 or www.sayellfoods.co.uk) have 5.5kg lambs from Spain which are ideal for spit roasting. Or you could use goat, as the monks of Hora do. But how many of us can be persuaded to hold a good old social gathering around a spit roast? I suppose we should blame it on the weather, but perhaps we're also wary of cooking whole animals. So I've given the recipe for a leg of lamb. Ideally, ask your butcher to tunnel bone the leg. This involves boning it out around and along the bone without cutting the actual meat so that the stuffing can easily be put in without tying. Ask him to leave the knucklebone attached to look good and stop the stuffing coming out.

1 leg of lamb, boned as above
500g large waxy new potatoes, such as Charlotte or Roseval, peeled, quartered and boiled for 6-7 minutes
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1tbsp chopped oregano
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
3-4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 230°C/gas mark 8. Mix the potatoes, onion, garlic, half the oregano, half the lemon zest and a tablespoon of olive oil. Season and stuff into the cavity of the lamb and secure the open end with a skewer or cocktail sticks. Any leftover potatoes can be placed under the lamb while roasting.

Pre-heat a roasting tray with a tablespoon of olive oil for about 10 minutes, until really hot. Put the lamb in and roast for 10 minutes then turn over and cook for another 10 minutes until both sides are nicely coloured.

Turn the oven down to 160°C/gas mark 3. Mix the rest of the oil with the remaining oregano, lemon zest and the lemon juice and rub over the lamb. Transfer the lamb to an ovenproof dish with a lid, or use foil, and cook for 2 hours, basting with the cooking juices every so often.

Leave the lamb to rest for about 20-30 minutes then carve into thick, 2-3cm slices and serve with the cooking juices spooned over and maybe some roasted vegetables either cooked with the joint for the last hour or separately (see below). Or serve spring vegetables such as peas and broad beans, or a Greek-style cucumber and black olive salad.

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