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Abbacchio Alla Romana (Baked Lamb Roman Style)

1 1/2 kg Leg of young lamb
2 Rosemary sprigs
Black Pepper; freshly ground
50 g Butter or lard
4 lg Potatoes
4 tb Dry white wine (optional)

Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/gas mark 8. Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Sprinkle the lamb with rosemary leaves, or make small incisions all over the meat and push a few rosemary leaves into each one. Season with salt and pepper. In a heavy, heatproof casserole, brown the lamb on all sides in the butter or lard. Surround it with the potatoes. Bake for about 1 hour, or until tender. Turn the lamb and the potatoes occasionally so that they brown evenly. If necessary baste the lamb with a little white wine to prevent it browning too quickly. Transfer the lamb to a heated serving dish and surround it with the potatoes.

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