Prep 40 mins
Cook 6 hrs
This is one of the most succulent lamb dishes you will ever taste. Long slow cooking makes the dish. This is an adopted recipe from the RecipeZaar account, and I am delighted to be the new owner of such a winning recipe. The size of your leg of lamb is everything in this recipe so please use the Zaar measurement converter ( bottom of the page) to calculate your cooking time as if will vary greatly if you have a very small or very large leg of lamb. (For example 2.8 kg leg = 6.1 lb and would cook for just over 6 hours after the browning stage) If you like this sort of meat, then I'd also recommend my recipe "New Zealand High Country Sheep Station Roast Lamb #186000" because it gives a similar result with fewer steps... (admittedly without the excellent gravy though) Since my home country that my DH jokingly calls Kiwistaan has an excellent reputation for Lamb, I will be assigning this one to ZWT REGION: New Zealand.
- 1 leg of lamb
- 2 onions, peeled & quartered
- 6 garlic cloves
- 10 shallots, peeled
- 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine (Zinfandel)
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta, chopped
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- fresh rosemary or thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- Cut most of the fat from the lamb.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in the pot and brown lamb slowly on all sides, about 15 minutes.
- Or you can brown in the oven in a roasting pan on high heat.
- preheat oven to 325°.
- Remove browned lamb& set aside.
- Sauté onion, shallots and garlic ( with pancetta, if used) until caramelized–about 20 minutes.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Discard fat in pan.
- Add wine and 2 cups stock and boil rapidly until reduced by half, scraping up any browned bits.
- Add herbs,tomato paste and reserved vegetables to pan.
- Return lamb, fat side up, to the pot.
- If needed, pour in enough additional stock to reach two-thirds of the way up sides of meat.
- Cover tightly and bake until done, basting often to keep the lamb from becoming dry.
- As the meat cooks and is constantly basted, the rich sauce is absorbed and the meat becomes very succulent.
- The dish is done when the lamb falls off the bone in pieces when prodded with a fork – this takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour per pound (lb) (metric = 1 hour per 450 g).
- (after browning).
- Plan on seven hours total for an entire leg of lamb. ( example calculation is based on a 2.8 kg / 6.1 lb leg).
- Remove the lamb to a platter.
- Cover with heavy foil to keep warm.
- Pour off all the liquid into a saucepan, skim the fat and boil down about 20 minutes, until it is rich and thick.
- Correct the seasoning and serve as a sauce over the lamb and vegetables.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve with Potato & Root Vegetable Mash or Roasted Vegetables.
Honestly, this is pretty much the only way I cook lamb. Be sure to make a LOT of mashed potatoes to go with it, the sauce makes an incredible gravy, and lots of it. The meat is fall-apart tender, and wonderfully flavored from the wine and aromatic veggies... perfect comfort food.
This was great. The only problem I had was knowing what I should do with all the onions, garlic and shallots after I caramelised them. I decided to lay them in the bottom of the baking dish with the lamb on top and cook it all! It worked a treat. Then I just reduced the whole lot to form the sauce. A dish just made for mashed potatoes.
I made this with fresh local lamb from my butcher. I only had to make one change, because you cannot buy pancetta within 5 miles of here, so I used ¼ pound of chopped, uncured, slab bacon instead. The recipe calls for 6 cloves of garlic but, fortunately, I could only find 10 in my pantry, so I had to make do with just the 10. One comment regarding the cooking process – I tossed about 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary into the liquid and, the first time I opened the oven to baste the lamb, the smell of the rosemary was very strong and almost overpowering. But I’m glad I went with my gut instinct not to remove any of the rosemary, because the eventual taste of the sauce had a most agreeable, distinct but quite subtle, hint of rosemary. Speaking of the sauce – after I had reduced it and skimmed off the fat, I returned the caramelized onions and garlic to the sauce and pureed the whole shootin’ match in the blender – this was about the richest, most savoury meat sauce I have ever had. This review can be summed up in the words of one dinner guest who said, simply, “This lamb is well beyond excellent.”