In a change to the regularly scheduled Sunday Zoom call cook-along with Freya’s parents we decided to shift to Saturday for a change. Nothing like a bit of variety during these challenging lockdown times.
Mine was slow cooked in the over for 7+ hours; Freya’s mum did hers in her outside log powered pizza oven.
I’ve made this recipe up, and although you can’t see it yet (picture to follow shortly), the lamb was cooked in a traditional red wine sauce – which I’ll get to in a minute.
Main inspiration for this dish (rather than the Ottolenghi lamb dish we did a few weeks ago) was the rapidly fading vegetables we had knocking about, and my inability to throw any food away that isn’t already walking to the compost bin by itself. We also had a 3/4 full open bottle of red wine, and some stock that I made from the carcass of Ottolenghi’s Soffrito chicken. Together these ingredients were bound to make a good sauce.
Prep for mine started the day before. I stabbed the lamb (and it was a very big lump of lamb) with a sharp knife and filled every stab hole with a chuck of garlic and some rosemary. I then rubbed some of the salt from my friend Becca’s homemade Preserved Lemons over the lamb and left it for a good 12-18 hours.
The next morning I started dinner (it was around 9:30am and we were going to eat around 6pm)
In a large saucepan I added some olive oil and browned off the leg of lamb on a high heat, to get some colour on it – and to release some of the meat juices into the pan. I then put the meat to one side.
In the same pan I fried off some diced carrot, onions, celery and garlic then added all the leftover wine, all the leftover stock, two tins of chopped tomatoes and some tomato puree. I had some left over thyme in the fridge which was borderline so this went in too. I brought this too the boil, let it blip for a while and they poured it all over and around the lamb and popped it in the oven at 160 degrees (uncovered) – and that was basically it!
I only seasoned with pepper as I thought I’d used enough salt already on the lamb and didn’t want to ruin it.
After about 4 hours it started looking a bit dark so I turned the lamb over in the sauce and covered it in a sheet of tinfoil.
After 7 hours it looked pretty epic (as you can see in the picture). I separated the sauce from the meat and blitzed the sauce in the Thermomix to made a rather thick and very very tasty Ragu like wine sauce. Traditionally you’d remove the veg by straining off the liquid to leave a glossy sauce. I don’t really do refined and I prefer a thicker sauce with this sort of meal.
We had about 20% of this melt in the mouth, falling apart lamb with the Ragu sauce, mashed potatoes and garlicky Cavolo Nero.
Our Scotty dog Bruce was very pleased with the lamb bone too – it kept him busy for hours.
A very successful meal indeed. We used up all the borderline veg, leftover wine and stock and probably have enough Ragu sauce and lamb to have it with some pasta today – and perhaps the next couple of days too!
Freya is now making Tattie scones with the leftover mash potatoes. We don’t throw anything away in this house!