Slow-baked lamb and potato
( SERVES 6 )
Photo by Tam West
In France there are many versions of this tender lamb baked with potatoes, cooked in an ovenproof dish. Traditionally it was taken to the baker, who would have sealed the dish and lid with a flour-and-water paste before slow-baking it in the oven after the day's loaves. Start this the day before.
- Mix lamb, leek, onion, garlic and bouquet garni in a large bowl. Season with freshly ground white pepper, add wine, cover and marinate overnight in the fridge.
- The next day preheat oven to 160C. Tip bowl contents into a colander set over another bowl, separate meat and vegetables, reserve the marinade and bouquet garni.
- Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a large fry pan over a medium-high heat. Season lamb lightly with salt then cook in batches for 5 minutes or until well-browned all over.
- In a large ovenproof dish, place half the lamb and half the vegetables with the bouquet garni. Make a layer with half of the sliced potatoes, brush with melted butter and season with salt and freshly ground white pepper.
- Add remaining lamb and vegetables, pour over reserved marinade, wine and stock. Layer with remaining potatoes, brush with butter and season. Seal with foil, cover with a lid and bake for 2 hours or until tender. Serve immediately with steamed greens or a simple vinaigrette-dressed green salad.
Tie together or wrap in a piece of muslin: 1 small stalk of celery with leaves, 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig of parsley and 1 sprig of thyme. This flavours the casserole with an added layer of complexity.