7 Hour Lamb

8:45 am on 24 May 2008

(Serves 6-8)

This lamb is cooked for 7 hours. I know it sounds outrageous, but believe me, it is utterly gorgeous, cooking to fork-tenderness. The juices are so full of flavour that they don't need anything added to them, and they don't need thickening either. For serving, break the lamb apart with a knife and fork - it doesn't need carving - and pull out the bones. They'll just slip out as clean as a whistle! Serve with a big bowl of creamy mashed potatoes.

Don't hurry the process of browning the lamb (it'll take about 15 minutes to get it nicely coloured) because it makes the meat look appetizing and adds heaps of flavour. Cut the shank off and cook it alongside the leg.


  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2.5-2.6kg leg of lamb, trimmed off excess fat
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, trimmed and quartered
  • 2 sticks celery, cut into thirds
  • few sprigs thyme & 2 bay leaves
  • 300ml dry white wine
  • 300ml stock


1: Choose a casserole which is big enough to hold the lamb and one that can go over the element, or cook it in a heavy-duty roasting dish and use a double thickness of heavy-duty tin foil as a lid. Heat oil in casserole dish over a medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the leg of lamb rounded side face down. Cook at a good sizzle, turning heat to medium, until it is a good golden brown. Turn and cook the lamb on all sides. Carefully transfer the leg of lamb to a plate. Pour off the accumulated fat in the dish and wipe dish clean with kitchen paper. Return lamb to the dish.

2: Add onions, carrots and celery, positioning them around the sides of the lamb. Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper and strew the top with thyme and bay leaves. Pour round the wine and stock. Put the lid on then transfer casserole to the centre of an oven preheated to 120°C (fanbake). Leave lamb to cook undisturbed for 7 hours.

3: Remove lamb to a heated serving plate, and keep covered with foil while finishing off. The vegetables will be extremely tender, but still delicious, so serve them separately. Tilt the casserole, leave it for a minute or two, then scoop off the fat, or if you have one of those fat separator jugs, pour all the stock into it and let it separate the juices from the fat. Moisten lamb with some of the juices and serve remaining juices in a heated jug.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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