How to make Kirstie Allsopp's slow-cooked lamb
Warm up autumn evenings with this succulent dish.
The nights are drawing in, but you don't have to resign yourself to boring old pot roasts - try Kirstie Allsopp's slow-cooked Asian lamb recipe for a spicy new take on a winter warmer, from her debut cookbook, Kirstie's Real Kitchen.
"The texture of the lamb is just like that of pulled pork," she says. "I have suggested adding some star anise, as this deepens the spiciness, but it's up to you."
1 x 1.8kg shoulder of lamb, on the bone, or 1 x 2kg leg of lamb
2tbsp vegetable oil
1 x 7.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed or grated
2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped
4tbsp soy sauce
1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2tbsp clear honey or maple syrup
1 large onion, peeled and halved
1 lemon, halved
3 star anise (optional)
500ml light chicken or vegetable stock (a stock cube is fine)
1. If using a slow-cooker, make sure your joint of lamb will fit in it. If using a conventional oven, preheat it to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3.
2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the lamb on all sides. Place in the slow-cooker or a roasting pan. (If using an Aga, brown the lamb in the roasting oven for about 20 minutes, then do the rest in the simmering oven.)
3. Mix the ginger, garlic, chillies, soy sauce, Worcester sauce and honey in a bowl. Smear all over the lamb. Tuck the onion halves, lemon halves and star anise (if using) around the joint, then pour the stock around it - you don't want to disturb that sticky topping.
4. Set the slow-cooker to low, put the lid on and leave the lamb to cook for around six to seven hours. In the Aga, or a conventional oven preheated as above, it will take about two-and-a-half to three hours (the longer the better, to be honest). Keep an eye on it throughout the cooking time, and add a little more water or stock if it looks too dry. You want to have a liquid sauce at the end. Test by using a fork to pull a little bit of meat from the joint. If it comes away very easily, it's done. If not, continue to cook in the oven until it does. When ready, the meat will be very tender, actually falling off the bone, so be careful when moving it from pot to plate.
5. We serve these tender strands of meat with their juices, some quick stir-fried greens and rice or noodles.
Kirstie's Real Kitchen by Kirstie Allsopp, photography Rita Platts, is published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton, priced Â£25. Available now