The Scotch lamb for sale in the butcher now, unless it’s from our Northern islands, is older and stronger in flavour than the spring lamb we have been enjoying. It is now perfect for slow cooking in a batch of white wine and lovely autumn vegetables.

Try this if you worry about roasting lamb. It’s so easy you can’t go wrong.


Pre-heat oven to Gas

Mark 3 / 160C

Choose a heavy casserole with lid that fits the lamb snuggly.


2–2.5 kilo boned and rolled lamb leg or shoulder

Sea salt and black pepper

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin

olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and

cut into eighths

2 carrots, peeled and cut

into thick slices

2 sticks celery, peeled

and chopped

750ml dry white wine

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 fresh bay leaves

2 cloves garlic, unpeeled, squashed

8 black pepper corns

1 unwaxed lemon cut into quarters

To finish

Zest and good squeeze of a lemon, blob of butter

Couple of handfuls of flat leaf parsley and mint, finely chopped


Remove the lamb from the fridge, season well at leave to come to room temperature, at least half an hour.

Prepare all the vegetables.

Heat the casserole on the stove and add the olive oil.

Add the onions, carrots, and celery and brown well on all sides.

Remove to a plate and, keeping the heat on high, add the rolled lamb and brown this well on all sides. This is important to start the flavours building in the finished dish.

Remove to the plate.

Now add the wine and boil briskly for 5-10 minutes until all the alcohol has been removed. You can test this by sniffing the fumes. If the alcohol is still there it will catch the back of your throat.

Now add the lamb and vegetables back into the pot.

Nestle the herbs, squashed garlic cloves, pepper corns and lemon quarters around it.

Fit a sheet of tin foil or greaseproof paper over the pot and place the lid on top to make for a tight fit.

Place the pot in the bottom shelf of the oven and go out for a walk.

After 3-3 ½ hours the lamb will be cooked perfectly.

Remove the lamb and cooked vegetables in a warm dish.

Put the pot on the stove.

Spoon off any excess fat.

Boil to reduce to get a gravy. Check seasoning.

Add the lemon zest, a squeeze of juice, a blob of butter and finish with some finely-chopped parsley and mint.

Serve with the lamb and vegetables and lots of delicious gravy.

Delicious with olive oil mashed potatoes.