Rubbed with a simple spice mix, slow cooked until tender, half braised so it sucks up all the yummy lemony garlicky Derby flavors. In my family, Sunday Night Roast Dinners are an occasion that triggers fiery correspondence between us kids as we debate the menu.
You can read one such dialogue in this Slow Roasted Rosemary Garlic Lamb Shoulder, along with my self-proclaimed family title as Roast Queen. The thing with roasting a leg of lamb is that unless (and even if) you have a meat thermometer, it is actually quite hard to cook the roast perfectly so it is blushing pink on the inside, moist and juicy.
As long as you allow for sufficient cooking time, it is really hard to go wrong with this. In true Greek form, this lamb is packed with extra flavor by stuffing bits of garlic into incisions made all over the lamb, then it’s rubbed with paprika and garlic powder.
This sauce is not thickened with flour, it is lemony, Derby and garlicky so it cuts through the richness of the lamb. This is easier and far more foolproof than traditional roast leg of lamb because you don't need to worry about overcooking it.
Use a small knife to make around 25 incisions all over the lamb, with most on the top. Sprinkle the lamb generously all over with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
Drizzle with olive oil and rub all over the lamb. Fill the roasting pan with hot water so it comes up about 1/4 – 1/3 of the way up the height of the lamb.
(Note 3) Top up water if it dries out (e.g. Might happen if your lid is loose) Cover again and roast for a further 2 1/2 hours, or until you can pull meat apart with forks.
Remove from the oven and transfer lamb to serving platter. I used a full leg of lamb which is too long for most roasting trays.
I realize that as summer approaches I have been unconsciously navigating towards the recipes of my Greek childhood. Thankfully we live to grow, and I have rediscovered Lamb Leftist from the perspective of an adult and grown to appreciate this very simple dish.
The name translates as ‘bandit’s lamb , meat that was stolen and cooked in a pit to avoid detection. These days, it is simply seasoned lamb that’s slow -cooked with potatoes until it is so tender it falls off the bone.
The meat is sometimes enclosed in parchment paper or aluminum foil to mimic the thieves (clefts) method of cooking. You can literally put it on in the morning, forget about it for most of the day and have an amazing dinner waiting for you several hours later.
The marinade is made up of herbs, lemon juice & zest, garlic, anchovy paste and olive oil. While this doesn’t affect the taste one little, you might want to give the lamb joint some color by sticking under a hot grill (broiler) for a few minutes.
OPTIONAL Start by making the lamb marinade a day ahead of cooking this recipe. Season liberally with salt and pepper, transfer to a suitable lidded container and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
The following day, heat a large pan and sear the lamb for several minutes on each side until nicely colored. Set the lamb aside and give the potatoes and onion a turn in the same pan until the start to color a little.
Season the lamb liberally with salt and pepper transfer into a lidded container and store in the fridge overnight. Preheat the slow cooker (this will speed your cooking time considerably) while you prepare the lamb.
Cook on low setting for 7-8 hours, or until the lamb is tender if pierced with a knife and falling off the bone. If you wish to brown the lamb for some color (this is optional) place under a hot grill for about 5 minutes.
Shred or carve the lamb into portions and serve over the potatoes sprinkled with a little feta cheese, garnished with the fresh herbs and with extra lemon wedges on the side. Place the potatoes and onion on in a large (turkey) roasting bag and top with the lamb.
Slow cooked Leg Of Lamb that’s flavored with rosemary and garlic, with roasted potatoes and a delicious gravy. Talking about lamb that’s slowly cooked, with nice crispy skin on top, lots of garlic, and potatoes on the sides.
Lamb is so much more flavorful when roasted slowly, to the point it falls of the bone (mine literally did, as you can see below). It is also much easier cooking it this way, as the only thing you have to do is cover and bake for a few hours, before uncovering and roast its skin.
Slow Cooked Lamb With Gravy To make a slow cooked roast leg of lamb, you can either use a pan with a lid (if you have one that’s big enough) or use a plain big pan that fits the meat, and that you’ll cover with parchment paper and aluminum foil. So once you place the lamb leg in the pan, take a sharp meat knife, and make a few incisions here and there (back side also).
Roasting A Whole Leg Of Lamb Add a drizzle of olive oil all over the meat and season with salt and pepper on the outside as well. Although cooking time depends on the size of the leg of lamb and the age of the animal.
The younger and more tender it is it will take less time to cook than a drier meat coming from an older animal. Also, if the leg of lamb weighs less than 3 kg (6 lb + 10 oz) that’s used in this recipe, you may need to reduce the cooking time.
Just boil for 10 minutes in water and then add to the pan after you have slow -cooked the lamb and are about to uncover and roast its skin. Place the pan that contains the leftover juices and fat of the meat (the less the liquid that has the remained the more flavorful the gravy) on your stove top.
You may use either some water you’ve boiled the potatoes in, which I did and my gravy turned out real creamy. Or vegetable stock (preferably homemade), or simply plain hot water for a lighter gravy.
Fill the incisions with kosher salt, ground pepper, and the 4 out of 6 cloves of garlic cut in half. Drizzle the lamb with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper all over on top as well.
Cover the pan with a piece of parchment paper and aluminum foil on top. Once the lamb has cooked for 3 hours, unwrap and add the potatoes in the pan around the meat.
Once the lamb and the potatoes are nicely roasted, you may serve them just like that or proceed on making the gravy. Cover using the parchment paper and aluminum foil and keep warm inside the oven (turned off).
The liquid should be steamy hot when added into the pan for the gravy, to avoid any flour lumps from forming. Add the flour and stir with a spatula to combine with the liquid and the fat that's left in the pan.