Seven-hour lamb

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 7 hrs, 30 mins

More effort

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

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal743
  • fat41g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs14g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre3g
  • protein73g
  • salt1g
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  • 1 large leg of lamb, about 3kg/6lb 8oz



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • 4 onion, sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 8 garlic clove, peeled, but left whole
  • 4 carrot, leave whole if small or quarter lengthways



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 300ml white wine
  • 300ml stock, use what you have
  • 2 tbsp Armagnac or Madeira, optional, to finish
  • thyme sprigs, to finish


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…


  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.

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Comments (86)

raquelquefois's picture

Beautiful and so easy! Used port in the gravy as replacement for suggested liquors. Will be doing next time we have a crowd round!

Frantic Flapjack's picture

A very easy way to cook lamb - after you've wrestled it around trying to brown it! Like Dot Cotton, I didn't have a casserole pot big enough either so did what she did below and it was fine. It's not the most exciting flavour but there is very little work to do with it. I made an onion gravy using the stock from the cooked lamb. I didn't bother with the onion and carrots but I did add a whole garlic bulb, cut in half. Served with mashed potatoes and carrots and other fresh veg.

Dot Cotton's picture

This is by far the nicest way I have ever cooked a leg of lamb! I had leftover red wine gravy from theach day before so I used that as the liquid needed. The meat was so soft I just pulled it apart with a fork & the bone fell out as I was transferring it to the serving plate. The hardest part of the recipe us browning the lamb! I didn't have a casserole pot big enough so I used a roasting tin & put 2 layers of foil to seal it tightly. 5 stars!

apkmorris's picture

I use this slow cook method with a leg of mutton rather than lamb, mutton has much more flavour and is more conducive to this kind of cooking.

I added a glass of vermouth as well as white wine. I deglazed the pan I had browned the meat in with 2tbs of Burgundy red wine vinegar, then melted in some unsalted butter, sweated off another onion, added flour and the liquid from the meat to make a thick onion gravy. Served with creamed potatoes and peas, its fantastic.

pattidevans's picture

I made this on Friday for a dinner party. There seemed to be a lot of liquid at the end so I used only part of it for gravy and I did not serve the vegetables with the meat as I had done some roast carrots with fennel seeds as one of the veg. Friends who eat out a LOT and go on lots of gourmet cruises said it was the best lamb they'd had in years. I've given it 4 stars only cos I found the gravy was a bit uninteresting. Next time I'd thicken it and put more liquour in.

I had saved the veg and the rest of the liquid, so I strained the fat off and liquidised it all and it made the most delicious soup! In fact I feel like cooking it again just to have more of the soup!

vixvix's picture

This is my favourite way to cook a joint of lamb. I have used this recipe on a number of occasions and the results are always fantastic. The lamb is so succulent and tender that it falls apart when served which results in shredded meat rather than neat slices. The minimal preparation and the long cooking time mean that this is a very relaxing meal which can be quickly popped in the oven and left to its own devices while you get on with other things.

I have on several occasions added the veg at the beginning of the cooking time as specified in the recipe and I liked the results, however some members of my family are not keen such soft vegetables, especially the carrots. I now add the carrots much later in the process so that the results are firmer (for example, last time I cooked this I used whole chantenay carrots, which were quite small, so I added them one hour before the end).

I use a jug specifically designed for separating the fat from the cooking liquid as it is easier and more reliable than blotting with kitchen paper. I also make a thicker sauce by making a roux with butter or Flora and flour, then gradually adding the strained fat-separated cooking liquid.

I have successfully doubled the ingredients (ie two legs of lamb at once) and used an enormous casserole pot (which only just fits in the oven!) to feed 12 people with left-overs. The cooking time was the same as for a single lamb joint.

Highly recommended.

Hunter-Rae's picture

I cooked this for my husband last night. Wow wow wow. He absolutely loved it! He has asked me to cook this for his parents. He has also made me promise not to tell them how I cooked it. Thank you so much for the recipe....

Hunter-Rae's picture

My leg of lamb weighs just over 1kg. How long should I cook it for? Should I still cook for seven hours? Please advise as I would like to cook it this weekend. Thanks

catherineiona1973's picture

My favourite slow cooked lamb recipe. Great if you have an aga and are feeding big numbers. I have used port when other suggested alcohol not available. Always tastes fantastic

tharrison66's picture

Cooked tonight. Swapped the Madeira with a sherry - ab fab!

michie580's picture

Absolutely delicious.. Cooked for Sunday dinner..followed recipe and cooked in slow cooker for 7 hours..will be making again in a few weeks for a dinner party for 6..just fell off the bone used half the weight recommended as cooked for 4 but plenty of meat for 5/6 people..a definite favourite

Cdub's picture

Outstanding! Didn't want to put my roasting tin on the stovetop so I browned the lamb in a pan. Went a little darker than I intended, and I didn't have room in the fry pan to bring the veg and stock to a boil. But it didn't matter. Shoved it all in the oven and it was amazing 7 hours later.

IMadeThisx's picture

I found the sauce perfectly fine, but I did absolutely nothing with the vegetables that were left over.

I love the leftover idea - Ill try this for next time.

emmas29's picture

A little post script.....
I shredded the left overs and mixed with some fried shallots, carrots, peas and the rest of the sauce topped with some smashed up new potatoes and cream........totally yummy!

emmas29's picture

Delicious! I stuck to the recipe and it worked perfectly - If I could change one thing though I think that the sauce could benefit from being a bit thicker, so I will try adding a small amount of a butter and flour roux just before serving next time.

liznfil's picture

Followed ingredients as per recipe, but I didn't fancy manhandling a 2.5 kg leg in hot fat, so I borrowed a Nigel Slater idea. Put oven on full (220) After rinsing and drying the meat, rubbed it with salt, black pepper and oil then put into baking dish uncovered and into oven for 25 mins to brown Meanwhile, sautéed the veg as per recipe on the hob, added wine and stock. When lamb browned poured over the veg and stock mix, covered tightly and turned oven down to suggested temperature for about 6 hours. Delicious and I didn't burn myself!

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.

Mrslou19'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

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!


Questions (7)

Agbuchan's picture

Lamb weighs 2.3kg. How long should I cook it for?

goodfoodteam's picture

As this is a very low oven, there's no harm in continuing to cook the meat for 7 hours even if the joint is a bit smaller. Hope this helps.

clairecollins's picture

Can I do this in a slow cooker? If so, at what setting?'s picture

I have a 1.5kg half leg of lamb. Can I still slow cook it for the full 7 hours as you would with the 3kg whole leg? Any Help would be fab. Thanks!

mamacook's picture

Can this recipe be done using boned leg of lamb--- I am having family Easter Sunday for 13 adults and 5 children and I would have more meat per Kg -- would it mean just reducing the hours --I do hope so as slow cooked meat is delicious.

Pj1515's picture

Hi! Looks great and I'm planning to make this this weekend-if I was going to cook two legs should I increase cooking time or should it not make a difference once the oven is hot enough? Thanks for any help!

jdebenham71's picture

Do you think I could use this same receipe for beef. It sounds lovely.

Tips (1)

Badgerslarder's picture

I always wrap the lamb tightly with 5 layers of foil, check after 5 hours though, mine has dried out ofter 7 before if the lamb was a little smaller. When the lamb is finished the vegetables are far to soft to serve, squash then through a sieve to help thicken and flavour the sauce. Serve with buttered green beans - I use the pan I fried the lamb off in just to add some extra favour - and daulphenoise potatoes.....used this recipe many times, my father in law damands this for dinner when he stays! I do add anchovies and thyme though and never salt the meat before cooking. Lovely served at the table at a dinner party....happy cooking guys.