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Photo provided by Jennifer Joyce

7 steps to anchovies and lamb - a match made in culinary heaven!

Jennifer Joyce

When you have a teacher from Leiths School of Food & Wine and an author of 10 cookbooks at your disposal, you know you’re going to get a super tasty recipe! Step forward Jennifer Joyce - who has also written for BBC Good Food and Waitrose Magazine - and who now writes for us. Her first offering for The Source Magazine is dinner party proof and just perfect for those chillier autumn nights…

1. It’s all about the base

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Image courtesy of Consorcio

Whilst many people are drawn to sweet flavours, I’ve always had an affinity for saltiness in my cooking. Forget cake - I’d much rather have a bowl of salted peanuts. Capers, flaked sea salt, fish sauce and soy are some of the many ingredients I use to build a punchy flavour. One ingredient I use regularly to elevate practically any dish is tinned anchovies: be it in stews, salad dressings, pasta sauces or roasted meat, they inject a great depth of flavour. Once they are finely chopped or melted into olive oil, anchovies lose their dominant saltiness and transform into a unique umami sensation. Think caesar salad, pasta puttanesca or Sunday roast.
The distinctive briny taste of anchovies is developed during the curing process, which involves salting the tiny fillets of this Mediterranean silver fish. In addition to their flavoursome qualities, they also boast a variety of health benefits. Win-win! My favourite anchovies are produced by the Spanish brand Consorcio which are sold in tins or jars and packed in olive oil. Less premium anchovy products are packed in vegetable oil which can result in a more prominent fishy smell.

2. The night before…

This recipe for roast leg of lamb with anchovies and garlic is the perfect example of how you can harness the magical taste of anchovies. And if you’re looking for a simple meal to entertain your friends or family, this is it! The night before, season the lamb liberally with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow tin and rub with the marinade ingredients. The rosemary can be left whole just to impart flavour. Refrigerate overnight covered, and bring back to room temperature about 1 hour before cooking.

3.The marinade

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2 kilos or approximate weight leg of lamb
2 tbsps red wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary

4. For roasting

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4 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
1 large onion sliced into 4 thick pieces
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
10 Consorcio Gold anchovies, drained and chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsps sea salt

5. Saucy! Mint and capers

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30g fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 shallots finely diced
1 tbsp tiny capers, drained
2 tbsps white wine vinegar
2 tbsps caster sugar
6 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

6. Your ten minute prep... 

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Photographer - Jennifer Joyce

Preheat oven to 200c/180c fan assisted. Using a very sharp knife make 10 incisions into the flesh of the lamb. In a small bowl, add the anchovies and garlic. Press this mixture deep into the slits. Chop the rosemary sprigs into smaller pieces and stuff them into the slits. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Place the onion slices into the roasting tin and top with the lamb. Roast for 1 hour 20 minutes for medium rare. For medium, roast another 5 minutes, and well done another 5. Remove and let sit for 20 minutes under heavy foil.

7. The final step to gourmet heaven

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Photographer - Jennifer Joyce

While the meat is cooking, mix together the mint sauce, add some seasoning and pour into a small bowl for serving. Slice the meat and serve with the mint sauce and prepared mashed potatoes and voila!  And as a bonus, in addition to adding an incredible taste to the lamb, anchovies contain Omega-3 acids, which contribute to healthy heart and brain function, as well as selenium, which is thought to lower the risk of cancer. Enjoy!

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When you open a Consorcio product, you become part of a long tradition. It really is an authentic gastronomic pleasure, and we hope you love eating it as much as we love making it.

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Grupo Consorcio’s products can be found in over 40 countries. We are proud to export to new territories to show off the quality of our products to the entire world. This is not vanity, this is based on the conviction of a job well done over many years.

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