Andrew Clarke has spent over two decades building up an enviable resumé in the heart of London’s restaurant scene. We first fell in love with his cooking at the legendary Rita’s in Hackney, before he took up tenure with Jackson Boxer at Brunswick House and one of our favourite local spots St Leonards in Shoreditch.
Despite taking time out from the kitchen for the past 18 months to launch the Pilot Light Campaign, a charity geared toward helping those in the hospitality industry with mental health issues, we’re extremely pleased we were able to coax Andrew into giving us the rundown on one of his favourite summer dishes.
Grilled Lamb Leg, Jersey Royals, Ceps, Runner Beans & Garlic
This recipe make use of some peak season produce, excellent for long lazy Sunday lunches in the garden but perfectly adaptable for the conventional oven in the event of inclement weather.
Ask your butcher for the finest lamb or hogget leg and if you’re not confident in the butchery department, ask them to butterfly it for you. Always take the bones and trim away too, as you can make a lamb stock for future use
Summer lamb is bigger with a more pronounced flavour than those sold in the spring and so it can stand up to some good strong marinades. However, I’m going to suggest we stay with simple, classic flavourings on this marinade as we’re focusing on technique here. When you’ve mastered this, you’ll be more confident in changing one or two things in future.
British Ceps can make an early appearance during June and July, if we experience a spell of wet weather. But European ones are usually available from a good grocer. You could always use Girolles and in the very worst case, King Oyster or Portabello mushrooms, but please don’t be tempted to used dried ceps. They’re really not the same.
1 Lamb Leg – butterflied
50ml Olive Oil
5 cloves Garlic – fine chopped
2 sprigs fresh Rosemary – fine chopped
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 tsp freshly cracked Black Pepper
1 tbsp Sea Salt
Score your lamb leg inside and out, to allow the marinade to get deep into the meat.
Mix the garlic, rosemary, black pepper and lemon zest with the olive oil, then rub it into the lamb evenly. Rest for 2 hours minimum in a fridge – overnight is better. Just remember to take the lamb out 1 hour before cooking to temper the meat.
If you wish to use an oven, roast the leg hard at 220c for 10mins, then turn it down to 180c for a further 20 mins – rest for 15 mins before slicing.
Light up a bbq/grill and offset the coals a little just to avoid flare up.
Wipe the excess marinade off of the leg then season with salt. Place on the grill and flip it over every 3-4 minutes, this creates a “rotisserie” effect and will give you a much more even and faster cook. Remember this technique and thank me later!
Grill the leg like this for 20-25 mins. If you have a probe, take the lamb off when it reaches 56c.
Rest for 15 mins before slicing, save any resting juices
500g fresh Ceps – cleaned and sliced
500g Jersey Royals – cleaned, cooked, cooled and sliced
500g Runner Beans – destring & sliced lengthways
5 Garlic Cloves – crushed
1 Lemon – zest & juice
1 bunch Flat Leaf Parsley – rough chopped
Salt & Black Pepper
100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Get a large skillet very hot over coals or on the hob.
Pour in the olive oil and sauté the potatoes until starting to brown.
Next add the ceps, and continue to sauté until both have a nice toasty colour and aroma.
Season with salt, pepper, lemon and parsley. Keep hot.
Grill or sauté the runner beans then mix these through the potato-cep mix.
Transfer the vegetables to your finest feasting platter and top with the lamb, pouring over any resting juices.
Serve with plenty of French baguette, a good aioli, a chilled light red and a smug grin that you’ve just cooked the best summer feast amongst your friends.