The Independent's Mark Hix has come up with three delicious lamb recipes / Rex

Mark Hix and Jamie Oliver get their juices flowing

Mark Hix

Slow-roast lamb shoulder with spiced freekeh

Serves 6-8

  • 1 shoulder of lamb, on the bone
  • A little vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
  • A few sprigs of rosemary
  • For the freekeh
  • 2tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled, halved and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2tsp cumin seeds
  • 2tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1tsp dried chilli flakes
  • The seeds from 12 cardamom pods
  • 200g freekeh, soaked in cold water for 2 hours
  • 1tbsp tomato purée
  • 1x350g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1.5ltrs hot chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 160C/gas mark 3. Make some incisions in the shoulder with the point of a knife and insert the garlic and rosemary. Season the shoulder, heat the oil in a frying pan and lightly colour the lamb on all sides and then place in a roasting tray. Cook for about 4 hours, basting as it is cooking.

Meanwhile, gently cook the onions and all of the spices in the butter in a heavy-based saucepan for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the tomato purée and tomatoes and stir in 1ltr of the stock. Season and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, stirring every so often. Check the freekeh; it needs to still have a bit of bite, so add more stock if necessary and continue cooking until the liquid is absorbed and it is a sloppy, risotto-like consistency.

To serve, transfer the freekeh into an ovenproof serving dish. Place the lamb on top and return to the oven until required. Serve by cutting chunks off the shoulder.

Jamie Oliver

Best roast leg of lamb with proper homemade mint sauce

  • Serves 8
  • 1 bulb garlic, 3 cloves peeled and crushed, the others left whole
  • 1 small bunch fresh rosemary, half the leaves removed and coarsely chopped, half in sprigs
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • 2 kg quality leg of lamb
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 kg potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • For the mint sauce
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 3 tablespoons wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºC/gas 6 and place a roasting dish for the potatoes on the bottom.

Mix the crushed garlic, chopped rosemary, lemon zest and olive oil together. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and rub the marinade into it. Place on the hot bars of the oven above the tray.

Boil the potatoes, simmer for 10 minutes and scuff the edges. Add the rosemary sprigs and whole garlic cloves, season with salt and pepper and drizzle over a good lug of olive oil. Tip the potatoes into the tray and place under the lamb to catch all the lovely juices.

To make the mint sauce, mix the chopped mint, sugar, salt, hot water and wine vinegar.

Cook the lamb for about an hour and 15 minutes if you want it pink, or an hour and a half if you want it more well done. Take it out of the oven and cover with tinfoil and leave for 15 minutes before serving. Carve and serve with the potatoes and mint sauce.

Tip: Try putting a few parsnips or carrots in with the roast potatoes.

BBC Good Food magazine

Garlic & herb roast lamb on boulangère potatoes

  • 2kg leg of lamb
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • few rosemary sprigs
  • few thyme sprigs
  • 2kg large potatoes, such as King Edwards
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 50g butter

Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Cut small pockets into the skin and flesh of the lamb by piercing it with the point of a sharp knife. Stuff each pocket with a slice of garlic and a few leaves of rosemary, or scatter with thyme. Put in a roasting tin, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then cover with foil.

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes, rinse under the cold tap and pile into a large ovenproof dish or roasting tin. Toss with the onions, remaining slices of garlic and a good scattering of herbs.

Heat the stock and butter together, then pour over the potatoes. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven with the lamb for 1 hr. Uncover, put the lamb on top of the potatoes and roast uncovered for 45 mins more. Allow the lamb to rest before carving, for about 15 mins. Leave the potatoes in the oven (covered, if starting to brown too much) until ready to serve.

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