As Easter approaches, it is also the lambing season, thus we wanted to share this delicious lamb recipe for you to try. Lamb can be a delicious meat when it is slow-cooked to bring out all the finest flavors. 

This traditional recipe should leave you with a plate of lamb that is so melt-in-your-mouth tender you’ll almost be able to eat it with a spoon!

Don’t be put off by the 7-hour cooking time; once you have prepared your ingredients and have the lamb in the oven, the idea is to leave it there to slow-cook for seven hours - you won’t be cooking the whole day! 

If you try this recipe, please write to Naomi, our newsletter and blog writer, at naomi@france-justforyou.com to let her know how it went! 

Happy Easter!

 

Ingredients:

Meat

1 lamb shank

2 rashers of bacon

 

Vegetables and herbs

2 carrots

2 onions

1 garlic head

1 stick of celery

4 sprigs of thyme

1 bay leaf

 

Conserves

250ml of beef or chicken stock

 

Oils, spices and condiments

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

Olive oil

 

Wine

For cooking: 250ml of a dry white wine

For drinking: To accompany the meal, lamb is perfect with a red Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux, or if you prefer white wine, choose a dry one, such as Chardonnay. 

 

SUMMARY

In a nutshell, what you will be doing is pan-frying the lamb and the bacon on each side until they are a bit brown on the edges. Then you will remove them from the pan and fry the chopped vegetables, before adding in the stock and the wine. You will leave everything to slow cook in a casserole dish in the oven for 7 hours. 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • First make sure that the leg of lamb fits in your casserole dish. If not, cut off the end of the lamb shank but try to make it fit in the pot, as the bones add to the flavor.
  • Preheat the oven to 120°C (250°F).
  • Pour olive oil into a frying pan and when hot, fry the leg of lamb for around 5 minutes on each side, until it is brown and sealed. Then put it onto a plate.
  • Do the same to the bacon (but for 1-2 minutes on each side) and take it out.

Next, you will prepare the garnish.

  • Rinse, peel and chop the carrots into cubes. The easiest way to do this is to slice them into four long sticks and then chop those sticks into cubes. 
  • Chop the onion into similar sized cubes as the carrots. 
  • Remove the thicker outer skin of the garlic head and separate the garlic head into cloves, but don’t remove the skin of the individual cloves - leave it on. 
  • Once you’ve removed the lamb and bacon from the frying pan, throw in the carrots, onion and garlic cloves
  • Season with salt and cook for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat. Stir often to make sure the vegetables don’t stick to the pan. 
  • Add the white wine and increase the heat until it is simmering. Keep simmering until half of the wine has evaporated. 

 

cocotte casserole dish

A French cocotte (casserole dish) Photo© Ptyx CC-BY SA 4.0

 

  • In the casserole dish (or cocotte), place the leg of lamb on top of the vegetables, and place a slice of bacon on each side.
  • Add your stock, the sprigs of thyme and the bay leaf.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to the boil before removing from the heat and covering the dish with the lid. 
  • Put the covered casserole dish in the oven and leave it to slow cook for 7 hours at at 120°C (250°F).

Enjoy!

Thanks to our travelers Ann and Jim Hichak for sending us photos of their Easter lamb, cooked following this recipe!

Easter lamb

Easter lamb in the pot - Photo© Ann & Jim Hichak

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