Roast Lamb with Boulangère Potatoes consists of garlicky lamb cooked on top of sliced potatoes and has been adapted from an old French recipe when the dish would be taken to the local bakery for cooking.
Roast Lamb with Boulangère Potatoes
- Easy Roast
- Easy Entertaining
- Family Favourite
- Perfect for Easter
This is by no means historically authentic but it has become my favourite way to cook and serve roast lamb. I love having roast dinners with family and friends but often the last minutes can be be fraught, and if you do not cook a roast that often, timings can be a bit tricky. Not so with this method. The meat and potatoes go into the oven at the same time and then you pretty much forget about them until its time to serve. One or two vegetables on the side and the meal is complete. Because the potatoes are cooked in stock I don’t make a gravy to go with this roast which is one less thing to think about.
These potatoes are not dissimilar to the ever popular dauphinoise potatoes only they are cooked in stock rather than cream so are less rich. A good thing because lamb is a fairly rich tasting meat, so these compliment the lamb perfectly. The quantity of potatoes per person may seem high but you need to trust me on this one, you cannot make too much. They are going to be popular and people will come back for seconds.
The trick to success is to slice the potatoes thinly, aim for about 3mm (1/8 in) thick, maximum. Use a mandolin or something similar if you have one, I use an Oxo good grip hand held slicer. I have seen recipes where the potatoes are blanched or the onions are cooked first but I really have not found that necessary so long as the slices are not too thick.
Like many, I like the flavour of rosemary and garlic with lamb. I used to make little slits in the skin of the lamb and the push in spikes of rosemary and slices of garlic into each. Now I simply chop the rosemary and garlic and mix to a paste with a little oil. I then use this as a rub to spread over the surface of the lamb, so much quicker and easier but you still get a great flavour.
The lamb is cooked over the potatoes so that the juices from the lamb drip onto the potatoes as it cooks adding additional flavour to the potatoes. You can put the lamb directly on top of the potatoes as would have been the traditional way, but I like to cook my lamb on an open oven shelf above the potatoes. In our house, there can be a bit of a fight for the crispy potato slices on the top of the boulangère potatoes and by cooking this way you get the maximum amount of crispy potatoes. Just remember to wash the oven shelf before using the oven again!
Roast Lamb with Boulangère Potatoes
- 25 g butter
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
- 2 kg potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 400 ml lamb or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
- 2½ kg leg of lamb
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
To prepare the potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 200℃ (180℃ fan)/400°F/gas mark 6. Generously butter a large shallow baking dish.
- Mix together the garlic and rosemary for the potatoes in a small dish with a little black pepper.
- Spread about one-third of the potatoes in the buttered dish then spread half the onions in a layer over the top. Sprinkle with some of the rosemary and garlic mixture. Repeat the layers then finish with a layer of potatoes.
- Carefully pour in the stock and dot the top of the potatoes with the remaining butter.
To prepare the lamb
- Mix the rosemary and garlic with a little salt and pepper then stir in the oil to form a paste. Spread all over the leg of the lamb
- Place the potatoes on the bottom shelf of the oven and place the lamb on the shelf above so that it is directly over the potatoes
- Roast the lamb and potatoes for 1 hour 30 minutes. Remove the lamb from the oven and allow to rest in a warm place (loosely cover with foil) for 20 minutes. Check that the potatoes are tender if they turn the oven off and leave the potatoes in the oven with the door slightly open while the lamb rests. Or cook for longer if necessary.
The traditional accompaniment to roast lamb is mint sauce, in this case, I don’t think you need it but if you do Homemade Mint Sauce is best.
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