Jill's Seven Hour Leg of Lamb

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The best things in life are often the simplest and this recipe for slow cooking a hunk of lamb is a perfect, fuss-free approach. A dish that can be left well alone in the oven, whilst you go out for a long walk (perhaps down to the pub) and when you return, the smells flooding throughout your house will no-doubt cause excessive dribbling, the minute you walk through the door.

Called 'Jill's Seven Hour Leg of Lamb' because this is Jess' Mum's favourite way to cook lamb, the method is to do pretty much what is says on the tin. It is not her recipe per se. This option of braising comes from Orlando Murrin, former editor of BBC Good Food, and the knack was found in a magazine many years ago. By all accounts, it is one that has been well-thumbed ever since.

Along the way though, Jill has been adding her own little twists and turns to proceedings, slowly making it her own. Which is the best thing about recipes.

They change and develop all the time and no-one ever truly 'owns' a recipe.

Small modifications include a parboiling here, a flash in the oven there but the top tip comes when it's time to make the gravy, by saving the vegetable water and adding a healthy dollop of redcurrant jelly into the mix.

Oh the gravy, be prepared to be blown away by the gravy. The foundations of good roast dinner do rely on a decent gravy (have we said that word enough?) and when it comes down to this approach to home cooking, the old mantra of 'Mum knows best' applies in spades here.

Because she really does.

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  1. First heat the oven to 120℃
  2. Next place the potatoes and carrots into a large saucepan and cover with water, adding a dash of salt. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 3 minutes, just to parboil. Strain the vegetables but remember to keep the cooking water. This will be used for the gravy later.
  3. Now take a large casserole pot with lid, or roasting tray and place it on the hob, over a medium to high heat. Generously season the lamb with salt and pepper and then brown meat all over in the pot. Spend a good ten minutes doing this, to ensure a good colour.
  4. Remove the leg and pour away any excess fat and then throw in all the vegetables and herbs into the pot. These will create a bed for the lamb and soak up all its glorious meaty juices. Pop the lamb back on top and pour the wine and stock around the sides.
  5. Place the pot back on the hob and bring to the boil, then place the lid on top and pop into the oven. If you are using a roasting tray, just cover the lamb with a double layer of foil and tightly seal around the edges.
  6. Bake in the oven for 7 hours, leaving quite well alone. After this time, the lamb can be carved with a spoon, so carefully lift the joint out and place on a board, cover with foil and leave in a warm place.
  7. Gently remove all the vegetables and herbs, popping them on a plate and then strain the remaining stock into a saucepan.
  8. Turn the oven up to 180℃ and put the vegetables back into the pot and place into the oven, lid off, for 20 mins. This is to give them a bit of colour and a touch a crispness.
  9. While the potatoes and carrots are finishing off, now is the time to make the gravy. Place the saucepan containing the stock back on the hob and add that vegetable water from earlier and a tablespoon of redcurrant jelly. Bring to the boil and reduce until thickened.
  10. To serve, carve the lamb as best you can (it will simply fall apart into gorgeous ribbons) and divide on to your plates, along with the roasted potatoes, carrots and crispy onions. Add some greenery, if you wish and finish with a generous helping of the aromatic gravy.

Order it online

Click here if you'd like to order this leg of lamb online.

Work time: 1 hour
Total time: 8 hours
US | Metric
3kg Leg of lamb, approx
Onions, peeled and sliced
Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and sliced into chunks
Carrots, cut into chunks
Garlic cloves, peeled
White wine
300 ml
Lamb stock
300 ml
Sprigs of thyme
Sprigs of rosemary
Red currant jelly
1 tbsp
Salt and black pepper