Braised 7 Hour Leg of Lamb

Leg of lamb is slowly braised with garlic, rosemary, onions, and vegetables until it is tender, moist, flavorful and falling off the bone. A white wine and broth sauce is leftover from the cooking process that tastes divine when spooned over the meat and veggies. The potatoes take on a rich, brown color as they absorb the meat juices as they cook with the lamb. Absolutely delicious.

This was the last piece of meat from our lamb order we got over a year ago. It was sad to use it up, but it made a very special Valentine’s Day dinner. We were snacking on leftovers from it all week too!

I know that I said that I would do a GAPS update today, but I decided that it would be better to wait until I have a little more to say on that. Meanwhile, I was falling behind in sharing recipes here at The Nourishing Gourmet. And this one was a winner!

Many traditional dishes are slow cooked which gives not only an absolutely delicious flavor, but makes everything very easy on the digestive system. I slowly braised several meats this week, and I love not only the taste, but how easily it hits your stomach!  By the way, to make it GAPS safe, you can use turnips instead of potatoes, and replace the wine with another cup of broth.

A few notes: I used a large clay cooker ( 9 by 13 bottom with top). If you have one, use it by all means. The clay not only keeps things super moist, but I think gives a rustic “natural” flavor. However, the recipe that I based this off of came from All About Braising (I’ve changed a few of the ingredients around and simplified some of the steps). She used a regular roasting pan with a foil cover. If you do this, you may want to add an extra cup of broth, just to make sure there is plenty of liquid. She says after 7 hours your lamb meat should be so soft you can just use a spoon to break it apart. I cooked mine 6 1/2 hours as I ran out of time, and it was great. I also didn’t flip it like I was supposed to. It wasn’t quite as soft on the top because of this (I actually had to use a fork instead of a spoon to break the meat apart!), but was still wonderful. If you do choose to turn it, beware that it will be a bit hard with all of those potatoes and carrots getting in your way.

Since this is a slow cooked dish, I bet you could make it into a slow cooker dish too!

And I used the leftover bones to make a lamb broth. Don’t waste those bones!

Braised Seven Hour Leg of Lamb

Adapted from All About Braising

In the original recipe, she called for 1 cup of chopped, canned peeled tomatoes. I am a little sensitive to tomatoes, so we didn’t include it, but you could!

    1 7-8 pound Leg of Lamb
    2 bay leaves
    Several Sprigs of rosemary
    10-15 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
    1 onion, peeled, and cut into eighths
    2-3 pounds of small red potatoes, scrubbed
    6 carrots, peeled, ends cut off and cut into 3 inch pieces
    1 cup of white wine
    2 cups of broth (chicken or lamb)
    Sea Salt and Pepper

1-If you are using clay cooker, put the bottom of the clay cooker in the oven and start preheating the broiler. Place your lamb leg in the clay cooker and broiler until you start to see speckled brown spots on the surface of the lamb. Turn over, and do the same to the other side.

2-Take the lamb and cooker out of the oven, and turn down the heat to 275 degrees. Surround the lamb with the carrots, onions, and potatoes,
garlic and rosemary and bay leaves, then pour the wine and broth over it. Sprinkle everything with sea salt and pepper.

3- If you are using a clay cooker, then put the top on. If you aren’t, make an aluminum foil tent over the food (don’t let it touch the food). Make sure that the rack in the oven is in the lower third of the oven, and place your lamb back in the oven. Now all you have to do is leave it alone for about 7 hours. Gently turn it with the help of tongs or two large spoons every two hours (read my notes above about what I did with what results).

4-When it’s done, take it out of the oven. We were lazy and served straight from the clay cooker. But you can remove the meat and veggies and plate them. Then you can skim some of the fat from the leftover juices, and boil it down a bit, and adjust it’s flavorings. Or you can just spoon it straight from the cooker over the vegetables and meat like us. Enjoy!


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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. says

    This sounds lovely! I will have to try this in the crockpot, or a big roasting pan. Or, maybe use the tagine… So many ideas, so little time! I haven’t had lamb in a while, can’t you tell. Thanks for sharing!

  2. KimiHarris says


    I bet a dutch oven would work great. 🙂 (I am assuming you mean using a dutch oven in the oven, right?)

  3. Martha says

    Thanks for sharing! I have one leg of lamb left in the freezer and I will definately incorporate this in to next weeks menu. 🙂

  4. says

    Kimi, I made this for dinner tonight, and it was SO great!! J just loved it. And nothing makes me happier than giving him such pleasure. 🙂 My leg was boneless and only 5 pounds, so I cooked it for 5 1/2 hours. We put pieces of lamb, onion, carrot, and potato in bowls and poured the cooking liquid over it all and ate it like a stew. The lamb was, indeed, tender enough to cut with a spoon. I’ll make this regularly from now on. I can’t believe how easy it was to prepare! It took no time at all. The only change I’ll make in the future is to add some salt to the broth before cooking. Thank you so much for sharing such an outrageously simple and delicious dinner.

  5. says

    Oh, this looks great! What time of year do farmer’s have lamb to sell? I know of a farm nearby and was thinking about buying some lamb from them this year.

  6. says

    One more thing: I’m really interested in your clay cooker. What size do you have? Where did you find yours? What brand is it? Or is brand even important? About how much does a good one cost? A quick Google search revealed an awful lot of variety, and I don’t know anyone with personal experience cooking with one. Thanks!

  7. Claire says

    hey kimi, i was just wondering about this the other day – do you know of any nutritional differences between using cooked and uncooked bones for making broth? as in, raw chicken or lamb vs. leftover roasted remains?

  8. Susan says

    The recipe looks delicious. I prefer lamb rare — am I correct in assuming the lamb comes out more on the well-done side?


    • KimiHarris says

      Hi Susan,

      Sorry I didn’t reply sooner, I just found your comment in my inbox. 🙂 Yes it is very well done, and soft. We love it, but it’s definitely not rare!

    • Leila Piazza says

      braised lamb has a very different flavor and texture than roasted lamb, but both are absolutely delicious. Don’t think of this as “well-done” in the way that lamb roasted too long is well done, it’s very different. When I think about eating braised lamb my teeth ache at the thought of it – the ache of a carnivore savoring the idea of juicy, tender lamb. Enjoy!

  9. says

    I have this in the oven right now and my house smells SO good! I can’t wait for Zak to come home from the library so we can eat!
    I was wondering if you ever do wine recommendations with meals or even reviews of local wines. I would think you would normally drink a red with this since it is red meat with bold flavors, but would the fact that it is cooked in a white wine sauce make a difference? I doubt that we will even drink wine with this, but I always like to try to decide what I would like to drink with a meal even if we don’t. I was obsessed with this when I was pregnant with Caspian which made it even more ridiculous!

    • Leila Piazza says

      Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvingnon, Merlot, Temparanillo – all are great with lamb. Also, a Petite Syrah would be terrific!

  10. Ronnie says

    I tried this with a 6lb bone-in lamb shoulder and it was wonderful! After cooking, I broke up the meat enough to remove the bones. Only change was to braise it the day before I planned to serve, so I could cool it overnight and de-fat the sauce. To serve, I lifted the solidified fat off the juices then put the pan back in the oven, covered, at 325 for an hour till it was warmed through.

    Shoulder is far less expensive than leg and needs long slow cooking because the bone structure doesn’t permit it to be carved into tidy pieces. When I get an expensive leg of lamb, I roast it medium rare and slice it thin.

  11. nicky says

    thanks for this! it looks delicious! do you think it would work with some butternut squash in the mix? do i have to make any adjustments if I’m using a regular slow cooker?

  12. Deb says

    We made this last night in our new Le Creuset pot. We substituted red wine for the white, and beef broth for the chicken broth. We rubbed a 3-4 lb. leg of lamb with chopped garlic, rosemary and melted butter. Then we roasted it with the lid off at 450 for 15 to 20 minutes, turning it once. We added potatoes, carrots, onions and more rosemary and the bay leaf and seasoned with sea salt and ground pepper. We poured on the wine and broth. We then turned down the oven to 275 and cooked it for about 4 hours. It was DELICIOUS and easy.

  13. Lynne says

    Lamb is prohibitively expensive here in New Zealand for those of us on a budget (hard to believe in a country where sheep outnumber humans by about 7-1!). While I can grill lamb chops to perfection, I long ago gave up trying to roast lamb as I invariably overcook it 🙁 This, however, sounds like something I manage so I am going to make this using my slow cooker. We will get two meals from this so it will work out cost effective for us. Thank you 🙂

  14. Debbie says

    I made this yesterday for a very large church function. Everyone raved about the lamb!! Because there were forty of so of us, I didn’t do the potatoes and carrots, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly adding the tomatoes. I was so nervous about serving lamb and even bought some mint jelly to “disguise” the lamb if needed. Not necessary!! Thank you for such a delicious dish. This is a keeper!

  15. says

    I just put mine in the oven, inside a big dutch oven with a heavy lid on it. The lid also has grooves that allows the steam to condense and drizzle evenly across the dish.

    Changes I made:
    Instead of broiling at the beginning, I put my dutch oven on a hot stove, and sauteed the chunks of garlic with tomato paste. THEN after they were a tad brown, I browned the chunk of lamb on all sides while sprinkling salt & pepper over it.

    This method will create more of that juicy brown crust which the wine will later pick up and deglaze. The caramelized bits from the lamb & garlic & tomato paste provides a great depth of flavour to the broth later.

    Try it out, trust me.

    I can’t wait 7 hours… yummmm.

  16. amanda says

    Hi There — I would love to make this for Easter, and would love to use my clay pot (which rarely gets used!), but I wondering if you soaked yours in water for 30 minutes first? Mine says to do that, but I wasn’t sure if you had done the same. Thanks in advance!

  17. Paul says

    I had about a 6 lb leg in the freezer. I began by rubbing it with EVOO and some of the garlic and dried rosemary. I then roasted in my Le Creuset at 450, ten minutes each side. I added the rest of the ingredients including a can of stewed tomatoes, the remaining garlic, and fresh rosemary. I used beef stock and a Chardonnay I had served the night before. I also addd a generic bouquet garni I found in the spices at the grocery. I had no trouble turning the leg every two hours with just a pair of tongs. After cooking about 6 hours (the meat was starting to come off the bone), I lowered the heat to 170 to keep warm until my guests arrived. Before serving I removed the meat, potatoes, carrots and onions and strained the remaining juices. In a blender I pureed the tomatoes, etc., and added to the strained broth before reducing. It was terrific.

  18. Nigel says

    Fantastic. Potatoes were still firm but fully cooked. Lamb was cut with two dessert spoons! A firm favourite already. Many thanks.

  19. Kelly says

    I’m curious, about the cooking instructions. I’ve used Romertof (sp?) clay pots for years and you always soak them in water for 15-30 minutes before placing ingredients in the pot and placing in a cold oven. That’s what all the instructions say to do. Your method doesn’t mention soaking the clay pot; did you soak it? I’m also curious about broiling the lamb in the clay pot whether it was soaked or not. Thoughts? PS the recipe sounds great.


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