I’ve been roasting Caroline’s carrots with Foxbury meat, really easy, just need a quick wash, the pop them in. Completely delicious.

By Nigel Slater

Young carrots in late spring, roast sweetly, especially when tucked under the roast. I have used a leg of lamb here but in fact any cut would work – a shoulder or loin for instance. The spice rub also works for chicken.

Ingredients (enough for 4-6):

* 1 x leg of lamb – 1.5kg * 4 x cloves of garlic * cumin seeds (2 – 3 large pinches) * large handful of mint leaves * juice of two lemons * olive oil * finger carrots * baby beetroots * white wine or stock – a large glass

Method:

Make three or four deep cuts into the lamb. Cut right through to the meat, not just the fat. Put the meat in a roasting tin.

Peel the garlic and put it into a blender with the cumin seeds, the mint and the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper and blast to a coarse paste, adding enough olive oil to make it spreadable, thick enough to cling to the lamb.

Massage the roast well with the paste, spreading it over the skin and into the cuts you made. Set aside for an hour in a cool place (not a fridge) basting occasionally with any of the paste that has run off.

Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas 6. Scrub the carrots and beetroots. If they are small you can probably get away with a rinse. Either way be careful with their skins which are tender. Put the meat in the oven and roast the meat for 45 minutes to an hour, tucking the vegetables in around it after about 20 minutes. The cooking time for the lamb will depend on how you like it done: 45 minutes should give you a roast that is still pink and juicy inside. Remove from the oven and rest the meat for a good ten to fifteen minutes before carving and serving.

If you want to make a gravy, transfer the meat and carrots to a warm place, put the roasting tin over a moderate heat, then pour in a large glass of wine or stock, or even water, and bring to the boil. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping away at the tin to dissolve any stuck on meat juices. Let the gravy bubble a little, check it for seasoning (it may need salt and pepper) then keep it warm whilst you carve.

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