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Slow Cooked Lamb – A touch of the Greek

By Gordon
The slow cooking odyssey just keeps on trucken with this little ditty that reached up to 21 in May of 1970 …. no hang on, that’s a line from the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack, but what a great soundtrack to cook to. You know, you just put on the tracks and get down to the business while getting your groove on with a glass of wine and half an hour to kill.
Today’s little bit of slow cooked heaven is a lamb dish that needs about 6 hours of love in the oven. So how do we go about this one? Start with a lamb shoulder or butterflied leg of lamb.
  • 2 kg lamb (4.5lbs)
  • 2 medium brown onions (diced)
  • 6 eschallots
  • 8 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 large bouquet garni (bay leaves, tarragon, oregano,thyme, greek basil)
  • 3 handfuls of black kalamata olives
  • 3 tins crushed/diced tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 50grm butter
  • salt, pepper and flour
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 750ml longneck beer (preferably an ale rather than lager or a bitter lager)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
 
Turn the BBQ on and get it really hot (how many of my recipes start this way??) and pre-heat your oven to 180C
 
If you caught last week’s post on the beef ragout, you’ll know to start off flouring the meat in a flour, salt and pepper mix. This forms a lovely crust on the meat and also goes a way to helping thicken the sauce later. So braise the meat till nice and brown and set aside.
 
In your heavy based saucepan brown your onions with the butter on a medium heat, toss in the diced eschallots and the garlic  and simmer contently. Add the tomatoes, olives, sugar, beer and half the wine and bring up to a simmer. Place the meat in and drop in your bouquet garni into the sauce. Ensure the meat is well covered, and add more wine if needed.
 
Place in the oven at 180 for 1.5 hours and then drop the temp to about 150 and leave for 4 hours. Before you drop the temperature, it’s a good idea to check your fluid levels and make sure the meat is covered.Usually at 180 you’ll have quite a bit of evaporation of liquid, so it pays to check it, rather than having something lose all it’s liquid and dry out.
 
Check the the flavours at this point. You may want to add a little more salt, pepper or sugar depending on which beer you used. Always add these a couple of pinches at time rather than by huge amounts. Easy to add, very difficult to remove (especially with the salt, and we all know that we’ve got to reduce that intake in the diet)
Pull the meat away from the bone and aid the ‘shredding’ process. You don’t want to pull all of it apart, but try for about 50% at least.
Serve on a bed of steamed green beans, or on some pasta, or with some mashed or boiled potatoes, or with some sweet potato chips, steamed corn…the list of possibilities is endless. With a lovely glass of red. Lisa has some great suggestions.
(also, makes for a lovely pulled lamb sandwich)
Good luck and remember, always cook with a glass of wine to hand and a bunch of tracks to lift your vibes.

About Gordon Eckel

Gordon Eckel, a foodie and (rock) wall climber extraordinaire. He worked in some of Sydney’s top restaurants, but decided that he liked cooking for his friends more, so ran away and joined the circus (aka managing Sydney nightclubs). Six years ago and after a few too many creamy pastas he weighed 105 kg with a ridiculously high cholesterol. He changed his eating ways, wore out a treadmill and dropped 25 kilos in three months. Now he is renown for cooking deceptively healthy food and for proselytizing about the marvels of the great Australian red.

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5 comments

  1. One of the best things about Winter is low cooked lamb. That looks Ab Fab.
    Carolyn

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