4-pound bone-in leg of lamb
large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced lengthwise into thirds
anchovy fillets in oil, drained
tablespoons butter, softened
Freshly ground black pepper
cups white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt, as needed
small bunch of watercress, to garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. With a small, sharp knife, make 12 incisions 2 inches deep into the fleshy side of the leg. Insert a piece of garlic, half an anchovy and a small sprig of rosemary into each incision. Push them in with your little finger.
- Cream the butter with the remaining anchovies and smear it all over the meat. Sprinkle the meat generously with black pepper, place in a roasting pan and pour the wine around it. Tuck in any leftover sprigs of rosemary and pour the lemon juice over the meat.
- Roast in the oven for 15 minutes; lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and roast for 1 hour more, basting from time to time with the juices. (Cook slightly longer, depending on how well done you like your meat.) Let rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes before carving.
- Meanwhile, taste the juices, adding salt as needed. (It should not need much because of the anchovies.) If the gravy is too thin, simmer it in a skillet to thicken. If you choose, garnish the slices of lamb with sprigs of watercress. Serve with gravy and mashed potatoes or creamed eggplant.