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Gary Matthewman’s Slow Roast Lamb

I once gave a recital in rural Scotland for which the fee was so low the promoter felt bad, and as a surprise part-payment gave me a huge leg of lamb from the farmer next door. This is how I cooked it, and it’s been a go-to of mine for cosy suppers with friends ever since.



Leg (or shoulder) of lamb

Olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

2/3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

fresh rosemary

one bottle red wine

two tins chopped tomatoes

one large pack of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

one tin of pitted black olives

one tin of prunes, stones removed

one small can of anchovies

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp brown sugar

salt and pepper to season

For a side dish of mash:

Maris Piper potatoes

small pot of pouring cream

finely chopped fresh rosemary



Pre-heat the oven to 150c (130c for fan ovens).

In a large roasting tin on the hob, heat a few generous glugs of olive oil, and brown the leg of lamb all over to seal. Turn off the heat, remove the lamb, and mix all remaining ingredients together in the same roasting tin. Over the tomato and wine mix, put the lamb on a trivet, and if you want it to look pretty, make small cuts and insert rosemary and thin slices of garlic. Cover the entire tin with kitchen foil, nipping the edges in firmly to keep all moisture within during cooking. Place in the oven for 4 hours, without opening, stirring or basting. When you take the foil off, the lamb will have added its juices to the rich, dark sauce underneath, and will fall off the bone like a vision from carnivore heaven. Serve with a big bowl of mash, with finely chopped rosemary and obscene amounts of butter and cream in it, generously seasoned.

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