1 leg of lamb, about 2kg
2 bulbs garlic
15 sprigs each rosemary and thyme
1.7kg medium-sized floury potatoes, unpeeled (try King Edward, sebago or Dutch cream)
14 bay leaves
4 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to season
1 lemon, juiced
Green olive and herb dressing, to serve (recipe below)
Use a small, sharp knife to make at least 30 small, deep incisions all over lamb. Halve garlic bulbs, so cloves fall away at top and remain attached at base. Peel and slice tops and keep the base halves for later. Use your fingers to push garlic slices into each lamb slit. Pull off some small sprigs of rosemary and thyme, keeping stalks on, and poke into the slits. (This can be done a day ahead. Cover lamb and chill. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before roasting).
Preheat oven to 190°C fan-forced (210°C conventional). Slice potatoes (see easy steps to hasselback potatoes, below). Slot a bay leaf into the middle slit of each potato. Tip potatoes into a large roasting pan with reserved garlic and remaining rosemary and thyme. Drizzle with half the oil and season, then toss to coat and turn potatoes so they're all cut-side up. Nestle lamb in middle of pan, pushing potatoes to the outside, then rub lamb with remaining oil and lemon juice and season generously.
Roast for 1½ hours, basting potatoes and shaking the pan occasionally, until lamb is dark brown and potatoes are crisp and golden. The lamb will be pink in the middle but cooked. For rare, cook for 10 minutes less, and for well done, 15 minutes more. Remove lamb from pan and rest for 15 minutes, putting potatoes back in the oven if needed. Serve drizzled with Green Olive and Herb Dressing (see below).
Green olive and herb dressing
Finely chop 50g pitted green olives and tip into a bowl with a large handful each of chopped parsley and mint leaves. Drizzle in enough extra virgin olive oil to just bind everthing, then add 1tsp red wine vinegar, a small pinch caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Dressing can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge.
How to make hasselback potatoes
Sit each potato between the handles of 2 wooden spoons.
Slice the potato across the width at 3mm intervals - the spoon handle will stop you from slicing all the way through.
Gently open up the potato slices and set aside. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
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