A long cooking time means you can sit back and relax with family and friends
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 3½ hours
3 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
1 bulb garlic, broken into cloves
Large sprig of thyme
Large sprig of rosemary
5 bay leaves
2.2kg (5lb) leg of lamb
200ml dry white wine
150ml (5fl oz) light chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp plain flour
For the potatoes:
1.5kg (3lb 5oz) Maris Piper potatoes, cut into large chunks
75ml (3fl oz) olive oil
2 tbsp dried polenta
50g (2oz) Parmesan, finely grated
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/R3. Place the onion, garlic and herbs in the bottom of a large roasting tin. Place the lamb on top and pour the wine and stock around. Drizzle the lamb with the oil and season well. Very tightly cover the tin with a double thickness of foil. Ensure there are no gaps to let any moisture escape. Place in the oven and roast for 3 hours.
2. Remove the foil and drain off all of the cooking liquid. Return the lamb to the oven, uncovered and cook for a further 30 minutes until nicely coloured. Remove from the oven, cover and allow to rest while you cook the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 200°C/R6.
3. Cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes until just tender, drain well and shake in the colander to rough up the edges a little. Preheat the oil in a large roasting tin in the oven, carefully tip in the potatoes and shake to coat in oil.
4. Roast for 45 minutes turning occasionally – they should be nicely coloured by now. Combine the polenta and Parmesan and scatter over the potatoes, shaking to coat. Roast for a further 10 minutes until golden and crisp.
5. To make the gravy, pour the cooking liquid into measuring jug and spoon off all of the fat, reserving just a little. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the fat into a large pan, heat and stir in the flour. Cook for a minute or two, stirring all the time. Whisk in the reserved liquid until smooth. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened. Check the seasoning. Carve the lamb and serve with the roasted onions and garlic, crispy potatoes and a slick of the gravy.