It is my humble opinion, that the only carving utensil you should need when serving a slow cooked lamb, is a spoon.
If you come round to ours on a Sunday, this is how you’ll be served your lamb.
With a side of crunchy potatoes, and steamed greens, a gravy made of the rich juices flavoured with garlic and rosemary.
During the cooler months it’s our in our top meals to sit and enjoy. It’s sorely missed in the summer, which is why on a the occasional summer afternoon I’ll cook it anyway.
I cooked this twice, just for pictures and both times the dinner time hectic-ness was in full swing and I couldn’t get a good picture of my cooked lamb.
One day soon, for a Sunday lunch, I’ll hope to do this scrumptious meal justice.
Preparation of the slow lamb
What I love about slow cooking is being able to prepare in advance, In the meantime, I make dessert, which with lamb, on a Sunday, is apple pie, you can get my pie recipe here.
For me, Sunday afternoons are a time to take it slow and rest before the week ahead.
and that for me, is being in my kitchen, cooking good food.
This lamb I have made and adapted to our tastes, and I am sure that now, it will be a recipe I make for the rest of my life.
First thing, you need a good cut for slow roasting, and it doesn’t need to be leg. not sure what to slow roast? I found a chart you could use here. it tells you the cuts, and how they are best cooked, There are many cuts you can slow cook.
I use a big leg as I feed a large family and it takes several hours of cooking.
If you’re using a smaller leg, the rule is for 1kg of lamb (bone in) you want around 40 minutes to an hour.
You’ll get brown meat and its a slice up consistency, it’s nice, but for me not great.
it’s my preference with lamb to double or even triple that time.
Cook in stock and lower the temperature to around 150 to 170 degrees celsius.
A slow cooked lamb is not stringy, and if you cook too long at too low, the proteins will toughen. I usually cook at 160, and it gets me perfect lamb every time.
I use homemade beef stock, you want beef or chicken, so the gravy isn’t too ‘lamby’.
If you don’t have stock on hand you can just use water, and chuck in a few bay leaves.
Cut away the skin on the lamb from the meat and stuff a good handful of garlic cloves and sprigs of rosemary in between.
Season the skin on top generously with salt pepper and garlic powder.
- leg of lamb, bone in.
- rosemary, either dry or fresh sprigs.
- garlic clove
- garlic powder
- beef stock(bone broth) or chicken stock or bay leaves.
- brown onions, 1-3
- 2 carrots
- your choice of vegetables. shallots, leeks, celery. anything you would like to roast in the stock with the lamb.
- for the gravy
- cornflour or plain flour 2 table spoons to start, add more with water until desired thickness.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Insure your lamb is at room temperature, so remove from the fridge a few hours before prepping.
peel an entire head of garlic (the easy way is to place unpeeled cloves into a bowl, placing a bowl on top shake for 20 seconds.
chop roughly, sprinkle with salt.
Find the top layer of fatty skin on your lamb. and gently peel from the meat, using a knife and your fingers to pry it away.
when separated as far as you can get it (it may not be the length of the meat, but anything is fine) place the garlic cloves either mixed with the dry rosemary or place the whole fresh sprigs, in with the garlic.
don't be afraid of using a lot of garlic, I find anywhere I can stuff it into the flesh or under the skin.
once you have used all your garlic cloves, season the top of the fatty skin with salt, black pepper and garlic powder, if you desire.
With your vegetables, lay them out across the pot or roasting dish, so the lamb can rest on top.
I generally use onions and carrots, and if I have on hand, leeks they add a really nice flavour to the gravy.
You want a pan with high sides, to hold around a litre of liquid and veg, or a dutch oven.
Place the lamb on top of the veg, for better cooking, you want to cook the meat, so do not place the skin you just stuffed facing up, but rather, facing down, onto the veg, so the meat will cook in the stock for the first few hours. I have skipped this a few times though as its been fine, as long as you cook slow and trap the steam your meat won't go stringy.
For the stock, I use a beef bone broth, around half a litre. in summer when I'm not making bone broth so often, I use a beef bouillon cube or just 2 or 3 bayleaves.
you want enough water that the vegetables are covered, depending what sized tray or dish you use that will require less or more. I use, half a litre of stock with another few cups of water. or a litre of water without stock.
season the water and stock with salt and pepper.
You need a lid for the first few hours, I use a dutch oven for my lamb. If you don't have one, use a deep pan and cover the top with foil, enough to seal all the steam inside as it cooks.
cook for 4 hours on 160 for most ovens, or of your more precise, 170 bake, 150 fan.
After 4 hours, remove foil, and if you like, you can turn over the lamb so it's skin side up, turn up the heat to 190 and let it dry out a little on top, with more seasoning on top. If you don't want to its fine, just leave the temp at the same, removing the foil or the lid and cooking for another 40 minutes.
You can get fancy with the gravy, my hubby likes gravy powder, but when he's not around I prefer the natural flavours.
Remove the lamb from the roasting pot and if you have a stick blender blend the veg, or place it in a blender, OR mash it with a potato masher.
Add some butter, around 2 tablespoons. lot's of seasoning, keep tasting it till you like the flavour. it depends on the stock you used. Gravy isn't supposed to be overly thick, I sometimes add a little cornflour and water paste, enough to thicken slightly, but the veg can do a good job of thickening the stock.
when you come to a desired thickness through reducing over low heat, or cornflour.
serve with crispy baked potatoes and steamed veg.
The size of your lamb, affects cooking time. if its under a kilo, cook for around 90 minutes and test, if you can slide a fork in and twist the meat away, it's time to remove the lid and cook for the last 20 minutes, on a slightly higher temp, add around at the most 50 degrees, so 190-200 celsius.
If its over 2 kilos, add an extra hour, to your steaming cook time, (check at 4 1/2 hours) and reduce the heat to 150 fan, or 160 bake and be sure not to skip placing the meat skin side down. then 40 minutes with lid off, with temp raised by 50 degrees. Again, do the fork test, if your want softer meat, don't remove the lid and continue cooking.
let me know how you went in the comments!
It’s such a favourite of ours, and one I hope everyone enjoys!