Roast leg of lamb surrounded by macaroni, Giouvetsi (yoo-veht-see) is a Greek speciality. The meat is sometimes first cut into cubes. This dish needs only a green vegetable, such as courgettes , as an accompaniment.
5 lb. leg of lamb
3 small garlic cloves, halved
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 tablespoons lemon juice large onion, thinly sliced pints water
1 lb. macaroni
5 oz. canned tomato puree
4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to very hot 450°F (Gas Mark 8, 230 °C).
With a sharp knife, make six small incisions in the lamb and insert the garlic halves.
Rub the lamb all over with half the salt, the pepper and thyme.
Place the lamb on a rack in a roasting tin and sprinkle it with the lemon juice.
Place the sliced onion around the lamb in the tin.
Place the lamb in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C) and continue roasting for lj to 1 ½ hours, basting frequently. Test the meat by piercing it with a sharp knife. The juices that run out should be only faintly rosy.
Fifteen minutes before the end of the cooking time, in a large saucepan, bring the water and remaining salt to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and add the macaroni. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the maca-roni is just tender. Drain the macaroni in a colander and keep it hot.
Remove the lamb from the oven and transfer it to a warmed serving dish. Keep hot. Remove and discard the onion from the pan.
Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid from the pan. Stir the tomato puree and macaroni into the cooking liquid. Sprinkle over the cheese. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
Remove the pan from the oven and arrange the macaroni mixture around the lamb. Serve at once.