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18 June 2009

Very Slow and Very Tender Lamb

As anyone reading this blog will have picked up lately, I have been experimenting with slow cooked lamb. Often I try to combine a crunchy top, and a tender core. But this time I decided not to try and make any part of the lamb crunchy and go for a true slow cooked, fall of the bone, lamb (as opposed to part slow cooked and slow roasted, which are different). I used half a leg for just the two of us, but you could probably cook a whole leg in the same amount of time.

And this dish turned out exactly how I wanted it to (it received a 'very good' from Mark)!
And it was so easy to make. It does require a bit of forward planning (ie remembering to put it in the oven) but once it is in, you can just forget about it.

What more could you ask for really?


1/2 leg of lamb
Flour for dusting
Olive oil for frying
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and left whole
2 onions peeled and quartered
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups beef stock
400g tin tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
4 bay leaves
A few sprigs thyme and sage
Freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 120 degrees. Dust the lamb in flour. Heat oil in a dish that can go on the stove and in the oven (or use a fry pan and transfer to a casserole dish). Brown lamb on each side. Add the vinegar, stock, tomatoes, basil, oregano, bay leaves, thyme, sage and pepper. Cover and cook for 8 hours. Serve with rice or mash and veges.

Creamy Chicken, Thyme and Sage Casserole

On the particular evening that I made this dish, I was babysitting for my gorgeous God son Otis. I wanted to make something that I could feed him at about 5.30 and then reheat again later for Mark and me once we had put Otis to bed. So a casserole seemed like the perfect choice.

And then I saw a creamy looking casserole on http://www.taste.com.au/ that looked delicious (what perfect timing!) so I decided to create a creamy casserole of my own.

Otis seemed to enjoy this dish, and Mark and I definitely did. There was probably far too much liquid, so I have only specified below a portion of what I added. If it looks too dry, add extra.

I served it with roasted garlic mash (see post from 14 June 2009) and some veges.

I used chicken breasts, but you could use whatever you like. I let the dish sit for a few hours after cooking and then reheated it, and the meat was wonderfully tender. I think the resting contributed to this.


Butter to fry
900g chicken breast or thigh cut into large pieces
6 rashes short cut rindless bacon
2 leeks, pale section only cut into quarters length ways and then cut into 3 cm pieces
5 cloves garlic bruised but left whole
2 tablespoons plain flour
3/4 cup chicken consomme
3/4 cup white wine
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch sage
1/2 cup thickened cream
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Heat the butter oil in a dish that can be used both on the stove and in the oven (or use a fry pan and then transfer to a casserole dish). Cook the chicken in batches until browned. Remove from pan.

Melt extra butter and then add and cook until well browned. Then add leeks and garlic and saute. Add the flour and cook for a few minutes. Add the wine and stock and bring to the boil.

Return chicken to the pan with 1/2 the thyme and 1/2 the sage. Cover and place in the oven and cook for an hour.

After an hour, return pan to the stove top and add cream and remaining thyme and sage. Cook, stirring for a few minutes until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with mash and vegetables.