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Red Wine Lamb

With the weather thinking about turning colder and Sundays filled with sporting fixtures, I dig out my slow cooker and our meals turn into casseroles, stews and slowly tenderised meats.

This is a very rich melt in the mouth alternative to the Roast which essentially uses the same ingredients but in a slightly different way.

Lamb Steaks 
Redcurrent jelly (or cranberry jelly)
Red Wine – bottle 
Flour for thickening 

I cheat and do not fry the meat off first.  it is usually a question of timing and I chop the onions and garlic 

Put the slow cooker on high. I don’t tend to put any oil in as the meat creates its own.
Add the onions and garlic.

The only reason I skim the leaves off the rosemary is the stalks become quite woody after cooking but add the leaves to the pot

Chop the anchovies into small pieces – don’t worry nobody will know they are in there (I promise), throw them into the pot as well.

Next just throw in the steaks, no need to cut them.  I add my Jelly to the pot at this time.  Redcurrent works really well but failing that I usually have cranberry jelly in the fridge so that can be a substitute.

Now it is the time for the Red wine  – I confess it is always the bottle on offer at the supermarket and I don’t quite use all the bottle. Covering the meat is the most important thing and do remember to keep a tad back for thickening later on.

Almost done,  you can forget about them for a few hours.  I like to turn the cooker to low if I leave the house so I would suggest after about an hour and then it can be left.    Re-entering the home you are met with the most wonderful nostalgic smell of roast lamb and gravy which means I am unable to resist opening the pot and turning the meat over.  By now the steaks are no longer complete but in small bite size morcels that just melt in the mouth.

At least half an hour before serving mix a little flour with some of the left over wine

Stir it into a paste and then add to the casserole.

If there is alot of excess liquid – oil can be spooned off but if there is still too much gravy then wack the heat up to high and remove the lid for a while to reduce it.  

I tend to find once the flour paste is in it thickens anyway.

Take off the heat at least 20mins before serving to allow all the flavours to settle and then serve with mashed potatoes and bright vegetables with mint jelly on the side.  Simply devine and no chewing required as all the flavours just explode into a wonderful reminder of  childhood roasts.   

If there is any sauce left, save it for gravy or stock for soup or stew.  

This does not have to be cooked in a slow cooker – use a very hot oven initially with a covered stew pot then turn it to low for 5 hours or so giving you the same wonderful experience.

Enjoy this and let me know what you think  –  if you prefer the traditional roast see my Slow Roast Lamb here.

Have a look at the trials and tribulations of trying to be a writer at my Tiggy Hayes



Slow Roast Lamb

This is great if you are out for the day and want to come back to something tender and succulent.  There is a little bit of effort first thing but then leave to slowly cook and tenderise.   The vegetables also should be cooked and served with as much love.    A great meal to serve if you wish to impress someone.

Lamb shoulder / leg  Hoggitt or Mutton are better than Spring lamb
Garlic – whole peeled cloves
Rosemary sprigs  lots
Anchovies  – these are the cocktail ones from the jar but plain not with herbs
Red Wine / Flour / oxo cube for the gravy

Don’t worry if you can’t stand anchovies these are in the lamb to add depth of flavour and you will not know or taste they are there.

It was when I was discussing this blog and mentioned in conversation my ingredients that both my mother and husband told me in horror that neither like anchovies.  They do however both adore my slow roast lamb.

Heat up the oven to a high heat while you dress the lamb.

Cut holes in the meat skin, then wrap 1 garlic clove and one small sprig of rosemary in an anchovy, place them in each of the holes.  This could do then with a sprinkling of good rock salt and ground pepper but these are optional.  Any spare rosemary can be lain on top of the joint.

Put into the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes then turn right down to 150° and leave to slow cook for several hours.   Prior to the meal, remove the meat from the oven, transfer to a carving dish and leave to stand.  Save the delicious juices for a gravy. 

If you have a second oven use it now otherwise bump up the heat again to at least  200° to cook the roasties.  Remember par-boiled and shaken in the colander will give them a crispy texture.

Add red wine – a good glug to the juices, mix a little veg water with flour and oxo cube then add to pan juices then reheat.

If like me you are using pampered chef stoneware that cannot go on the hob, stir well and put back in the oven.  Stir often and then serve up with your meat.  It helps clean the dish and leaves the gravy full of flavour.

Serve with all the trimmings including mint sauce, no carving required as the meat falls off the bone and melts in the mouth.

Do give this lamb a try and let me know which vegetables you prefer to serve and how you add taste to these as well.  I use my base flavours of garlic, rosemary and mint to bring the vegetables alive.



you can also enjoy my writing blog at:  Dawn Chorus

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