Seven-hour lamb

Seven-hour lamb

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(46 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 7 hrs, 30 mins

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 6

Slow cooked, melt-in-the-mouth meat that needs 7 hours in the oven but little more than 7 minutes work for the chef

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving



  • 1 large leg of lamb, about 3kg/6lb 8oz
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled, but left whole
  • 4 carrots, leave whole if small or quarter lengthways
  • 300ml white wine
  • 300ml stock, use what you have
  • 2 tbsp Armagnac or Madeira, optional, to finish
  • thyme sprigs, to finish

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  1. Heat oven to 120C/fan 100C/gas ½. Put your largest lidded casserole on the hob and brown the seasoned leg of lamb on all sides - do this very thoroughly until it is a good dark brown as it will not brown during the cooking. (If you don't do it now, it will end up beige.) If the lamb sticks, add a drizzle of oil - legs of lamb differ. Allow 10 mins on a high heat and put on the cooker fan to remove the smoke. Pour away any fat that has collected in the bottom of the pan.
  2. Throw in the vegetables, followed by the wine and stock. Season and bring to the boil, then clap on the lid and put in the oven. Bake for 7 hrs, turning twice. After 5 hrs the meat will be cooked and offer no resistance to the knife.
  3. There is no need to rest the meat when cooked in this way, but to finish the sauce, transfer the meat and vegetables to a serving dish. Strain the sauce into a jug and pour or blot away the fat with kitchen paper. Pour the sauce into a pan then boil the liquid hard to reduce by a quarter, by which time it will be rich and flavoursome. Adjust seasoning, add the Armagnac if you wish, and serve alongside the lamb, which should be served with a spoon, a la cuillère as the French call it.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2005

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davandsar3's picture

Have just cooked this for Sunday lunch using a 6lb leg of mutton it is really tender and tasty, I doubled the sauce ingredients and used homemade turkey stock. Will definitely cook this again, am serving it with a low fat version of gratine dauphinois and seasonal veg.

sarahlou19's picture

Absolutely delicious, I had a 2kg and cooked the lamb for 5 hours and it was the best slow roasted lamb I've cooked. Fell off the bone and the flavour was perfect. Went down a storm! Thx

linda_firth's picture
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My butcher could not supply a leg of lamb as large as the recipe states - even ordering ahead. They did the best they could - and with one approximately 2.5 kgs I fed 6 adults, 3 children and made a shepherds pie with the leftovers. The flavour of meat and sauce from this recipe is sublime. My guests have requested this dish again when they visit me this coming Easter.

Mytwolittlebears's picture

Abosulutely amazing! I made this in the slow cooker with a 2.5kg leg of lamb, which was more than plenty for the six of us. I doubled the fluid quantities as it didn't appear to be enough and didn't make the sauce but I served with gratin dauphinois and green beans. My guests were very impressed. I will be doing this again for my nan when she visits!

moonmarner's picture

followed this recipe to the letter,(luckely )my dinner guests had to cancel last minute,
it was very tender BUT had lost its lamby taste,very disappointed will not be cooking this again.h
as we had lots of meat over ,made a curry sauce which added flavour but could have made lamb curry with cheaper meat.

Mazmum's picture

I have done a variation on this theme and its lovely. Used still cider instead of wine, no onions or garlic because i'm allergic, carrots cabbage and potatoes around the lamb, and added 3 sprigs of rosemary instead of the thyme. Delicious x

bikerbell's picture

Made this for Sunday lunch ( not keen on getting up at 6.30!) had a smaller leg of lamb but kept all the rest of the ingredients the same quantity. The finished dish was excellent. Will do again, but have in the evening so I get a bit of a lay-in!
Full 5 stars

hollyscott1985's picture

Cooked for 7 hours in a slow cooker ( casserole dish wasn't big enough for leg of lamb) amazing !!! Even impressed the mother in law for a change !!! Lamb just falls off the bone and melts in the mouth

jasonkarl's picture
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I used a knuckle end leg of salt marsh lamb, cider instead of wine and an extra red onion. Mouthwateringly delicious!

osheajm's picture

this works really well with a pomegranate/balsamic vinegar marinade, the meat literally fell off the bone, sadly there was no left-overs.

oscarbear's picture

I am thinking of cooking this but wondered if I should use on or off the bone leg of lamb? Can anyone help please?

suejenkins's picture
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I recently tried this for a dinner party and it was absolutely delicious! It was really easy to prepare and I served it with dauphinoise potatoes and cabbage. The great thing with that combination apart from tasting superb was that I could spend time with my friends and a glass of wine and not be stuck in the kitchen! A foolproof recipe that I will definately be doing again... might try red wine next time though!

karen66's picture

This can also be cooked using lamb shoulder which is just as tasty (more so in my opinion) and much cheaper. Really nice served with ratatouille and a potato gratin.

kamaljit's picture
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I love this recipe, making it for a dinner party tonight! I have cooked this meal twice in a slow cooker for 7hours, my husband loved it! xxx

susiedawnjones's picture

No way should this be called "moderately easy" as it is the simplest dish ever! Easy is even an understatement! Absolutely delicious even though I didn't bother with the Armagnac. Done this for 2 Dinner Parties with second helpings all around and am doing it again for a Birthday Dinner Party this weekend

njh123321's picture
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Am making this for the 3rd time today for a dinner party tonight and hoping for leftovers for Sunday roast! Am cooking it in the slow cooker for the first time so fingers crossed. It is absolutely the only way to cook lamb. I don't normally like lamb but have converted after making this recipe. Orlando - you are a legend!

susiedawnjones's picture

Did this for a dinner party of 6 having never cooked lamb before and omg was it delicious! I had trouble getting it into my pot and my husband had to saw it lol but was well worth the effort and the compliments I got for it were very welcome

noisysmurf's picture
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This is by far the best way to cook your lamb! I'm not a lover of it but decided to cook it for a dinner party for people who adore lamb. I cooked it for 6 hours ish and my lamb leg was approx 2kg and I used more garlic (as per reviews), everything else remained the same. You could indeed eat it with a spoon!! Absolutely gorgeous flavours, I am amazed. Perfect. I can't praise this recipe enough. I'm cooking it again tomorrow just for us and we are all looking forward to it. So easy, excellent results and tastes fantastic!

gill1234's picture

Have made this several times, it never fails to impress. I get the butcher to bone and roll the leg.

pasjc1's picture

words cannot describe how wonderful this dish is and so so easy to do