As the nights get colder and the days get darker, many of us turn towards warm winter meals for comfort food. This recipe for seven-hour slow cooked leg of lamb is ideal for staving off those winter chills, and takes only a little over twenty minutes to prepare.
Feeds: 6 people Time: 7:30
– 4 onions, sliced
– A bunch of sage leaves
– 10 peppercorns
– Coarse salt
– 8 garlic cloves, peeled, but left whole
– 4 carrots, leave whole if small or quarter lengthways
– 300ml white wine
– 300ml stock, use what you have
– 2 tbsp Armagnac or Madeira, optional, to finish
– thyme sprigs, to finish
– Large casserole dish
Pre-heat the oven:
- Heat oven to 120°C/fan.
Preparing the ingredients:
– Cook the garlic cloves in their skin for 3 minutes in boiling water.
– Finely dice the onions and carrots.
– Rub the leg of lamb with coarse salt.
– Firmly wrap the lamb in cooking string to stop the meat falling off the bone whilst in the oven.
– Brown the meat in a pan until it is dark brown. Do so thoroughly; the leg will not darken significantly whilst it is cooking, and failure to do so now will leave the meat a pale beige. If your lamb sticks to the pan whilst browning add a few drops of oil. Pour away any fat that collects in the pam.
Entering the oven:
- Put the leg of lamb, cooked garlic, carrots and onions into a casserole dish.
- Pour one pint (half a bottle) of white wine into the casserole dish. Then add water until the meat is immersed.
- Season with a few sprigs of rosemary, thyme, a couple of peppercorns and sage leaves.Put the lid on the casserole dish, and leave in the oven for 7 hours, turning it over twice. After 5 hours the meat will be cooked through, and the remaining time is simply to further tenderise the meat. By the end of the 7 hours the lamb should be so tender that it can be removed from the bone with a spoon (giving it the french name a la cuillère).
Exiting the oven:
There is no need to rest the meat before serving.
- After the meat and vegetables have been moved into a serving dish, strain the sauce into a jug and skim the fat away with kitchen paper.
- Pour the remaining liquid into a pan, before boiling the liquid to reduce it by a quarter. This will leave a rich and flavoursome sauce.
- Add two tablespoons of Armagnac or Madeira if you wish.