Saturday, June 18, 2011

seven hour leg of lamb recipe

Now, this is one of my fail-safe recipes. The lamb's always moist, tender and falls off the bone. But friends have made it and found it a little dry - so it's important to keep the heat way down, and make sure you have a casserole with a well-fitting lid {I use my Le Crueset french oven - well worth the exorbitant cost when purchased at 40% off at David Jones and used weekly for winters over my lifetime - and I'll probably pass it onto my gal too!} If you don't have a good casserole, try wetting some baking paper and covering the lamb with that, before covering with a few layers of aluminium foil. This should keep the moisture in.

1 leg of lamb with bone in, preferably with the shank too {cook's treat - mmmmm}
4 cloves of garlic, cut lengthways into slivers
4 anchovies, cut into 2cm pieces
1 onion, finely chopped finely
2 carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthways - use as a trivet to hold the lamb up
1 1/2 cups of french lentils
1 cup red wine or rosé
2 sprigs rosemary
salt, pepper, olive oil

Bring the lamb to room temperature. Using a thin, sharp knife, make pockets in the lamb - stabbing down about an inch or so {2.5cm} Stick your finger in to widen it, then place a sliver of garlic and a piece of anchovy into each *

Rub the lamb with olive oil, salt and pepper and then, in a frypan on a moderately high heat, sear all sides until golden brown.

Place onions, lentils and rosemary in casserole dish and stir. Place carrots down to form a base for the lamb. Place the lamb on the carrots. Use the white wine to deglaze all the yummy stuff from the frypan - getting all the good bits up with a wooden spoon. Pour over the lamb and lentils. You should just be able to cover the lentils with the wine, if it looks dry add a little more wine.

Cover tightly with a lid and place in oven on the lowest heat possible. Bake for seven hours. Yep, seven hours. Remove the lamb after cooking and serve with the lentils.

*Okay, so you reckon you hate anchovies and will leave them out? DON'T! They're essential. They melt down and just leave the most incredible salty flavour. Buy the nice ones in oil - you may well become addicted {they're also fabulous melted down in a frypan with olive oil and garlic so you can toss through broccoli - mmmmm}

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