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Roast leg of lamb tastes ‘amazing’ when using one unusual ingredient, claims James Martin

Cooking a leg of lamb can be a little trick for those who have no clue where to start.

Luckily, James Martin has taken to his ITV show this morning to share with viewers how to cook a roast leg of lamb that tastes “absolutely amazing”.

However, within the recipe, there is one ingredient that gives the meat a “beautiful” taste – and that’s hay.

James said: “This recipe is pretty straightforward, but it’s slightly unusual when you think about it. It’s lamb cooked in hay. It’s really simple but it tastes amazing.

“You can just take an oven tray with hay – pet shop hay – that’s what you want. It produces this lovely earthy smell when it cooks. It’s absolutely amazing.”


One leg of lamb

Small bunch of lavender

Few sprigs of rosemary

Hay to cover the roasting tray

125g butter, softened

Salt and pepper

One shallot, peeled and diced

200g fresh peas

200g broad beans

200g sugar snap peas, chopped

100g mange tout, chopped

100g butter

small bunch wild garlic

One lemon, juice only

For the sauce

200ml veal jus

15g butter

One teaspoon sherry vinegar


Start by preheating your oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas Mark 6 and cover a large roasting tin with hay, rosemary and lavender.

James claimed that the lavender and rosemary help to “increase the flavour” that the hay gives the meat.

Once the bed for the meat is done, pop the lamb on top and brush over the butter, season, and roast for one and a half to two hours.

Once the lamb is nearly cooked, it’s time to get started on the vegetables to accompany them. To do so, boil water in a ban and add all the vegetables leaving them to cook for three to four minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, add the veal jus to a pan and heat it. Let the sauce reduce by half and then finish with the butter and sherry vinegar.

As well as cooking a roast leg of lamb this way, James claims that chicken can be cooked like this too.


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