If you love tender meat but don't want to slave over the stove all day, slow-cooking can yield succulent lamb in four to five hours. The quality of meat you use will affect how good your lamb tastes, and you'll need to determine which kinds of seasoning you want to use. After all, some people like their lamb sweet, while others want to spice it up. No matter how you season your lamb, though, the basic procedure for slow cooking remains the same.
Preheat your oven to the highest temperature setting. While you wait for the oven to preheat, cut any excess fat off of the lamb. Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a roasting tin with high sides of at least 2 to 3 inches. Pour half of the seasonings you plan to use into the olive oil, then place the lamb in the pan.
Pour olive oil evenly over the lamb until it's fully coated. Add the rest of the seasonings to the top of the lamb, ensuring that they're evenly distributed. Try adding black pepper, sea salt, thyme and/or rosemary. If you like to include vegetables, such as carrots and onions, add them to the pan as well.
Cover the roasting tin tightly with aluminum foil. There should be no gaps in the foil and if the foil cracks or tears, you'll need to add another sheet of foil. Lower the heat in your oven to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for about 4 hours. You'll know the lamb is done when you can easily pull the bone away from the meat, and depending upon your oven, you may have to slightly adjust cooking times.
Set the roasting tin on the stove and allow the lamb to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour out any excess olive oil. Pour sauce over the lamb, if you've made one. Stick a fork in the lamb to check the color to ensure it is thoroughly cooked. There should be little to no pink, and steam should be coming out of the lamb. Juices should be clear rather than bloody.
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- National Health Service: How to Prepare and Cook Food Safely
- Kalofagas.ca: Slow-Roasted Leg of Lamb (The Greek Way)
- BBC Good Food: Seven-Hour Lamb
- How to Cook Everything; Mark Bittman
- For added flavor, make several incisions into the raw lamb and insert fresh rosemary sprigs or anchovies.
- Whisk 1 tsp. of flour mixed with cold water into the remaining liquid in the pan for a quick gravy.
- To cut the fat content of your meal, refrigerate the meat and pan liquid overnight. In the morning spoon off any congealed fat before reheating.
- Don't purchase lamb cuts with crumbly looking fat, as this indicates the meat is old.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.
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