Grilled leg of lamb with swiss chard and anchovy gratin recipe

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This is a dish we often serve in the Field Kitchen. The gratin is based on one in the lovely book A Table in Provence, by Lesley Forbes (Webb & Bower, 1987). Jane doesn’t need much persuasion to add anchovies to anything, but the chard and anchovy work particularly well together.

  • Yield: 6 Servings


  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • a good pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 leg of lamb, weighing about 2 kg, skinned, boned and butterflied (you could ask your butcher to do this)
For the Stock
  • ½ lemon juice
  • a splash of white wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a sprig of thyme
For the Gratin
  • 2 bunches of Swiss chard (about 500–600 g)
  • a large knob of butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 anchovies
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
  1. Mix together the garlic, rosemary, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil to make a marinade. Place the lamb in a large dish, pour over the marinade and leave at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight, turning the meat occasionally.
  2. To make the stock, put all the ingredients in a pan with 500 ml of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and set aside.
  3. To make the gratin, separate the chard leaves from the stalks and blanch them in a large pan of boiling salted water for 1 minute. Drain well, refresh under cold running water, then squeeze out excess water. Set aside.
  4. Cut the chard stalks across into 5 mm strips. Bring the stock to the boil, add the chard stalks and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Drain the stalks and set aside, saving the stock for later.
  5. Heat the butter in a pan, add the onion and cook gently for 15 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Remove from the heat and add the anchovies, stirring until they dissolve into the mixture. Return to the heat and stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook very gently for 5 minutes. Slowly stir in the reserved chard stock until you have a thick sauce. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir the chard stalks and leaves into the sauce, together with the grated Parmesan and some black pepper. Transfer the mixture to a gratin dish and bake in an oven preheated to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 for about 20 minutes, until golden.
  7. Remove the lamb from the marinade. Preheat a ridged griddle pan or a large, heavy-based frying pan and cook the lamb for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Transfer to a roasting tray and finish off in the oven at 200°C/Gas Mark 6 for a few minutes, depending on how pink you like your lamb. Leave to rest for about 10 minutes, then serve with the gratin.

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