Herby baked lamb in tomato sauce

Herby baked lamb in tomato sauce

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(28 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 4 hrs, 15 mins


Serves 4 with leftovers
Cook this 'low and slow' in its own sauce til it's so tender you can carve it with a spoon

Nutrition and extra info

  • Leftover meat can be shredded and frozen in sauce

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal595
  • fat40g
  • saturates19g
  • carbs11g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre1g
  • protein42g
  • salt0.51g
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  • 1.8-2kg shoulder of lamb
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 3 oregano sprigs, leaves stripped from 2



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • 3 rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped from 2



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 600ml red wine
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar


  1. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Put the lamb into a large ovenproof dish. Pour the oil into a small food processor with the oregano and rosemary leaves and the garlic, then whizz to a rough paste. Season the paste well, rub all over the lamb, then roast for 20 mins. Cover, lower the oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2, then roast for a further 3 hrs.

  2. Remove the lamb from the oven and carefully pour off all the fat, leaving any meat juices in the dish if you can. Pour over the wine and tomatoes, poke in the remaining herb sprigs, then return, uncovered, to the oven for a further 40 mins. The lamb should now be tender enough to cut with a fork or spoon.

  3. Carefully pour or spoon the wine and tomato sauce into another pan, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface, then re-cover the lamb. Let it rest for up to 30 mins while you roast the potatoes and finish the sauce. Heat the tomato mixture until bubbling, then simmer for 10-15 mins until thickened and saucy. Season with the sugar, and some salt and pepper if it needs it, then pour back around the lamb to serve.

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Comments (31)

schnuggle-bom's picture

When I took the sauce out of the oven, it was still very acidic, but all it needed was reducing down. I had it on a rolling boil for about 20 mins until it had reduced to about 1/2 and it was absolutely lovely.

barnetgirl's picture

This does take quite a long time to cook but its is worth it for the melt in the mouth texture of the the meat at the end. I did feel that the two tins of tomatoes and 600ml of wine was rather too much liquid but I am using the leftover sauce and lamb to make the suggested ragu pasta sauce tonight.

maxineanna's picture

I think this was one of the best lamb recipes that I have ever done. The meat really did fall off the bone and I could 'carve' it with a spoon. In addition to the herbs, I added a cinnamon stick (inspired by Greek stifado). It gave it a lovely flavour. I'm cooking it again tomorrow for my parents - I know they'll love it.

hamishmum's picture

I cooked this the day before & stripped the meat off the bone so it was easier to serve on the day - all i had to do was heat it up. Only ok this recipe & I'd probably use lamb shanks next time.

denisebrise's picture

After reading the reviews I prepared the sauce like a ragout, reducing the wine and adding some stock to enhance the taste. The meat was absolutely amazing, though!

pattetlow's picture

Our guests said it was the 'best lamb they had ever tasted'.

gingersalad's picture

gorgeous! Made it with a half leg as that was all I could find. Definitely make it again.

joannepd's picture

Agree with previous comments about the sauce. It seems to have been added far too late to develop any sort of richness of flavour.Tasted 'raw' - as if I had tipped two tins of tomatoes over the lamb as an afterthought. There are much tastier recipes for lamb than this one.

kittyk8te's picture

This was perfect and absolutely delicious!
The meat was incredibly tender and flavoursome, it just fell off the bone. The sauce was rich but not at all acidic - and I forgot to add to the sugar!
I didn't have a big enough casserole so I used a roasting pan, covered it with foil, then took the lamb out and reduced the sauce on the hob. It worked a treat and everyone loved it.
I'm really looking forward to the leftovers tonight!

theconnerys's picture

Completely agree - the meat was lovely and tender and we were all salivating at the smell of it cooking. But the sauce was defintely too overpowering and acidic - despite adding some more sugar. Next time will use less wine or maybe add the sauce ingredients to the meat earlier to give it longer to cook and mellow. Nice meat though with lots left for tomorrow!

elinorwelch's picture

The lamb was very tender but the sauce was very acidic, despite the sugar - not sure if there was anything else I should have done. Smelt lovely in the oven though!


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