I think of all the meats to slow cook, lamb is my favourite, particularly in the winter. I love its flavour, the way it always falls apart and the fact it combines really well with red or white wine or in this case dry sherry. I made this last week for Mike’s birthday and it may now become a favourite. As with all these types of meals it’s not pretty to look at but tastes great. There was a little left for lunch the next day – it was equally delicious cold. Lamb shoulder would be just as good for this dish.
1 leg of lamb (or shoulder)
5-6 large shallots, peeled and quartered
8-10 cloves garlic, peeled
300ml dry sherry
Bunch of baby carrots
Baby potatoes (2-3 per person)
Sprig of fresh thyme
2-3 bay leaves
Sprig of fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper
Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat a little olive oil in a flameproof lidded casserole dish (large enough to hold the leg of lamb). When hot, brown the lamb on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add the shallots and whole garlic cloves to the casserole and brown. Add the fresh herbs and cook for another minute.
Add the sherry and, on a high heat, deglaze the dish. Return the lamb to the casserole, cover with the lid and place in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes and then turn down the heat to 150°C. Cook for another 2 hours. Then add the baby carrots and potatoes and cook for about another 30-45 minutes but its fine if it’s longer. The lamb needs to be starting to fall off the bone and the vegetables cooked.
Break the lamb into pieces and serve with the vegetables and plenty of the juices as gravy (after removing the lamb and veges from the casserole mash up the garlic if any cloves are still whole). Serve with a green vegetable.