Leg of Lamb Braised in a Bag

2:21 am on 19 April 2008

An oven bag makes a handy container for braising an awkward shaped joint of meat such as a leg of lamb.  After several hours slow braising the lamb will be fork-tender and the juices will form a delicious sauce.  If there is room in the oven, bake a vegetable gratin, such as tomato, aubergine or pumpkin, at the same time. Serve with plain boiled potatoes and a rocket salad.

(Serves 4-8, depending on the size of the joint of lamb)


  • Whole or half leg of lamb, either shank or fillet
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Half to one cup red wine
  • Squeeze of tomato paste
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • bunch herbs, such as thyme, oregano, parsley

To Finish

  • 2 peeled and chopped tomatoes (optional)
  • freshly chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 150C.
Season the lamb all over with salt and pepper.
Put 1 tablespoon flour inside a large or extra large oven bag and shake the bag so that the inside is coated with flour.
Rest the bag in a roasting dish large enough to hold the lamb within the rim.
Place the lamb inside the bag and add all the remaining ingredients. Secure the top of the bag with a tie or string. Use a sharp fork to poke a few holes near the top of the bag.
Tuck the edges of the bag underneath so that the oven bag won't come in contact with the oven elements.

Put in the oven and bake for 3-4 hours, lowering the temperature to 120C after half an hour.

Adjust the temperature so that it is as low as possible but with the liquid in the bag still bubbling gently. After this long slow cooking, the lamb will be moist and fork- tender.

Lift the roasting dish out of the oven. Undo the tie or cut the bag open with scissors. Lift the meat onto a serving dish, and return to the turned-off oven to keep warm.  Pour the juices into the roasting pan and then sieve them into a saucepan, pressing down to extract flavour from the vegetables and herbs. Skim any excess fat from the top of the sauce.

If you are adding chopped tomatoes, add them to the saucepan.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for a few minutes to concentrate the sauce.

Add plenty of freshly chopped parsley. Serve the meat moistened with the sauce.


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