Anchovies can do some of their best work behind the scenes, melting into sauces and adding great depth of flavour. This is one such dish, where they bring a silverbeet stuffing to life in a roasted lamb shoulder.
- 850 gm (about 1 bunch) silverbeet, trimmed, stalks reserved
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup (loosely packed) oregano
- 10 large anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
- Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 lamb leg (about 3.5kg), butterflied
- 1 tbsp lard
- 125 ml dry vermouth
- 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
- 4 large desiree potatoes (1.2kg), scrubbed and thickly sliced
- 300 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 1Preheat oven to 160C. Blanch silverbeet leaves in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender (1 minute). Drain, refresh in iced water, drain again, then squeeze excess water from silverbeet, coarsely chop and place in a bowl. Pound garlic and ½ tsp sea salt flakes to a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle. Add oregano and anchovies, and pound to a coarse paste. Add anchovy mixture to silverbeet along with lemon rind and a good grind of black pepper.
- 2Open up lamb leg, spread silverbeet mixture on top and roll meat to enclose. Tie at intervals with kitchen string and set aside.
- 3Heat lard in a roasting pan large enough to fit lamb over medium-high heat. Add lamb, skin-side down, and cook, rolling over onto edges, until browned (3-5 minutes). Turn lamb over, add vermouth and stock, and transfer to oven. Roast until lamb is tender and cooked (2-2½ hours). Set lamb aside to rest (30 minutes). Skim excess fat from the pan juices and add silverbeet stalks to pan, toss to coat in the pan juices and roast until tender (20-30 minutes). Add lemon juice and season to taste.
- 4Meanwhile, for pomme purée, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add potato and cook over medium heat until tender (12-16 minutes). Drain and return to saucepan over low heat until all moisture has evaporated. Peel and mash, or pass through a ricer into a clean saucepan. Place saucepan over low heat and gradually stir in butter until it's all incorporated. Season to taste. Drizzle lamb leg with a little of the pan juices, slice and serve with pomme purée.
Drink Suggestion: Red Corbières.
Drink suggestion by Max Allen