Yesterday I slow cooked a hind leg from my 1 year old ram that I harvested and butchered just before setting off to California. Normally I prefer to make roasted leg of lamb, but due to a hectic schedule, I opted for the "set it and forget it" method. Camille is much more of a fork tender meat eater, so she will always opt for the slow cooked cooking technique. If you are a busy person, or one who prefers to be less "hands on" in the kitchen, this technique is for you!
Meats with large amounts of connective tissue, do best with a slow and low cooking process. This technique allows collagen to dissolve and turn into gelatin, which creates a succulent - "fork tender" result.
Covered, with a base of liquid and aromatics, this helps prevent the meat from drying out and will also impart a delicious flavor into the meat and create a wonderful sauce to boot.
Slow cooking really works like magic as it can transform less enjoyable cuts of meat into succulent meals.
Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb
- 1 leg of lamb
- 1 pint chicken or beef stock
- 12 ounces red wine
- green section of 1 leek
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 strip of kelp
- handful of dried mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, black trumpet)
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 10 black peppercorns
- Preheat the oven to 325°F
- Place all the ingredients into a hotel pan or baking dish large enough to hold the leg.
- Cover with lid or foil.
- Place in the oven and cook for 4 hours before checking the tenderness.
- Continue to slow cook until the meat is fork tender.
- Remove the pan from the oven, then strain the liquid into a small sauce pan. Reduce the liquid by half, allowing the flavors to concentrate as they reduce.
- Normally I would serve the concentrated liquid as a "jus", to be poured over the meat. I switched things up a bit and ended up blending it with toasted pumpkin seeds, apple cider vinegar, rosemary, and a dash of sea salt. Worked really well with the dish.
- To serve, flake the meat with your hands or a fork and serve over fresh, seasonal vegetables.