Cook the Book: Roast Leg of Lamb with Anchovy, Garlic, and Rosemary

Cook the Book: Roast Leg of Lamb with Anchovy, Garlic, and Rosemary

This week's Cook the Book is Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson. If you haven't heard of Hopkinson, chances are you aren't English; in Britain, this book was voted the most useful cookbook ever by a group of chefs, food writers, and readers.

Yesterday, czken asked what sides to serve with an Easter leg of lamb, so we figured we'd highlight Roast Chicken's recipe for the main attraction. Oh, and in the book, Hopkinson recommends mashed potatoes as a side dish. (Related: We'll feature a recipe for puréed potatoes with parsley later this week that might work with this dish, too.) Enjoy!

Win 'Roast Chicken and Other Stories'

To give you a taste of how useful this book is, we're excerpting a dish a day this week. Today's follows, after the jump. If that whets your appetite, you can find Roast Chicken on Amazon or enter to win a copy here on Serious Eats.

Roast Leg of Lamb with Anchovy, Garlic, and Rosemary


  • 4-pound leg of lamb
  • 2 two-ounce cans anchovies
  • 1 small bunch rosemary
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced lengthways into 3 pieces
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 750-ml bottle white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch watercress, to garnish


  1. 1.

    Preheat oven to 425°F. With a small sharp knife, make about 12 incisions 2 inches deep in the fleshy side of the lamb leg. Insert a piece of garlic, half an anchovy, and a small sprig of rosemary into each incision. Push all of them right in with your little finger. Cream the butter with any remaining anchovies and smear it all over the surface of the meat. Grind plenty of black pepper over it. Place lamb in a roasting pan; pour the wine around it. Tuck in any leftover sprigs of rosemary; pour lemon juice over. Place in oven; roast 15 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; roast lamb for an additional hour, or slightly more, depending on how well-done you like your meat. Baste from time to time with the winy juices. Take meat out of oven; let rest in a warm place at least 15 minutes before carving.