Sunday Roast: 7 Hour Lamb

There’s many things my family love. Food. Eating. Cooking. Talking about food. Eating more food. In fact I remember Mum’s exasperation when my sister Poppet would ask her what was for dinner, during breakfast. When Poppet and I moved to Newcastle/Sydney, it became more about the phone calls at 5.30 – 6pm asking for our favourite recipes, what ingredients we can substitute for those missing from the store, and what it means when meat turns weird colours in the frying pan! (Sorry and thank you Mum).

I actually rang Mum for one of my favourite recipes on Sunday. Before any family get together, Mum will always ask us to email any special food requests (the other son-in-law requests Melting Moments – you can find the recipe for these on Poppet’s blog, Morsels and Musings).

Afterward, I sent a text to my 6 hungover friends at 12.30pm on Sunday, announcing that dinner was in the oven. Reply text: “what are you cooking, an elephant?”. Not quite – just this amazing 7-Hour Lamb. 

You’ll need:

2.2 kg leg of lamb, Frenched (this fed 3 boys and 3 girls)
5 anchovy fillets
3 large cloves garlic, quartered
2 bouquet garnis (you’ll be able to find these in the herb section at Woolworths)
2 celery sticks
1 1/4 cup full-flavoured veal or chicken stock
1 1/4 cup dry white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

My first challenge – the lamb was too large to fit in the Le Cassoulet. My second challenge came later. There’s nothing like cooking a roast dinner for 6 to make you reassess the size of your oven.

Minor problem! In the end, I used a small baking dish and covered it tightly with foil.

Preheat the oven to 120 degrees. Time to prep the lamb!

Dry the anchovy fillets on baking paper and cut each fillet into thirds (don’t worry if you have non-anchovy loving friends. Three of 6 of my dinner guests hate anchovies, but couldn’t taste them in the lamb).

Make six incisions on either side of the lamb, and into each, insert an anchovy piece and a garlic quarter, then season with pepper and a small amount of salt.

Next, seal the lamb on all sides in a frying pan. When the lamb is a golden brown colour, place in a baking dish, along with the bouquet garnis, stock and wine.

Quick lamb prep

Cover the lamb with the baking dish lid (or foil!), place in oven and leave it there for seven hours. Plenty of time to think about accompaniments. I served mine with roast sweet potato and potato. I ended up making pumpkin mash as I couldn’t fit all the vegies in the oven!

Here’s one I prepared 7 hours ago

If you are going to roast the vegetables, place them in the oven for 2.5 – 3 hours prior to finishing time (remember the oven is on a low heat). Carve the lamb and transfer to a serving dish, and enjoy with the juices.

Hangovers aside, we still managed two bottles of red.

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