Prep 20 mins
Cook 7 hrs
Got all day and in the mood to cook? This lamb is cooked for hours in a 200°F oven and the result is lamb so meltingly tender you can eat it with a spoon, hence the name! Taken from James Beard's last cookbook before his death in 1985.
- 5 -6 lbs leg of lamb, boned and tied (ask for the bones, and have them sawed into 1-inch pieces)
- salt and pepper
- 3 medium onions, each stuck with 2 cloves
- 6 cloves
- 3 carrots, split lengthwise
- 6 -7 garlic cloves
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 -5 ripe tomatoes, peeled seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup red wine
- chopped parsley (to garnish)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Rub lamb with salt and pepper and place on a rack in a roasting pan.
- Surround with the bones, onions,carrots and 4 to 5 garlic cloves.
- Pour the olive oil over the bones and vegetables.
- Roast at 400°F for 30 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 350°F and roast for 30 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 200°F.
- Transfer lamb to baking pan or casserole dish.
- Add remaining garlic, 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper, tomatoes and bones and vegetables from the roasting pan.
- Rinse roasting pan with the red wine and pour wine over lamb.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast in a 200°F oven for 6 hours.
- Transfer lamb to a platter and remove the strings.
- Discard bones and bay leaf.
- Remove the cloves from the onions and puree or blend all the vegetables.
- Combine with the pan juices.
- Serve meat and sauce with cooked white beans seasoned with salt and pepper garlic and basil.
We cooked this for dinner last night, and had a terrible time with it. Our (gas) oven went out on the low heat, so we the increased the heat and cooked it for the next 6 hours. When we went to carve it, it was still running VERY red juice, so we then turned the oven up to the temp you would normally cook a roast leg of lamb, and finished it for 1 hour. We had a thermometer in the oven to check temps as the recipe was so specific, and the lamb went into a pre-heated oven initially. I have been in touch with Yooper, and he suggested raising the temp to 300F and reducing the cooking time to 4 hours instead of 6. Or maybe putting it in a crockpot at that stage and cooking it for a further 6-8 hours. That was what we actually thought would be good, but we don't own a crockpot:-) There is also no mention of where the bay leaf and thyme go into the dish, but Yooper said it was step 9 as we had done. I'm not rating this, as we ended up eith nice roast lamb and a tomato sauce, but it wasn't as the recipe would have been had it worked for me.
It needs every minute of cooking time but is well worth it.
I have been making this recipe for years. We love it!! It's one of my top 3 lamb recipes. Thanks for posting it.