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Eight-Hour Lamb - The Perfect Dinner Party Recipe

Eight-Hour Lamb - The Perfect Dinner Party Recipe

Sharing food on a central platter that everybody can dig into is great dinner party fodder. It keeps things informal and means the food isn’t going cold as you meticulously serve each person individually. Sharing food that you can whack in the oven in the morning and forget about until the evening is even better when you’re entertaining, allowing you to clean and tidy the house, make a dessert, get yourself ready and enjoy time with your guests when they arrive instead of slaving away in the kitchen. Our eight-hour lamb dish ticks all those boxes and is delicious to boot.

A leg of lamb is perfect for slow cooking, rendering the cheaper, tougher cut beautifully tender so that it literally falls off the bone. This also makes it easy for you to remove the meat from the bone and shred so that your guests can simply pick bits off the platter.

Serves 4-6


  • 1.5kg leg of lamb
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 bulbs garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthways
  • 2 bunches rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • 200g crumbled feta
  • Lemon wedges and strips of lemon zest, to serve
  • 1 large handful fresh basil
  • 1 large handful fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 large handful mint
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1tbsp salted capers, rinsed
  • 2-3 anchovy fillets, drained
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C/ gas mark 2
  2. Add the onion and garlic bulb halves to a large roasting tin and scatter with the rosemary sprigs, reserving 6 sprigs.
  3. Using your hands, rub olive oil all over the lamb. Make 12 slits, roughly 2.5cm deep, in the lamb with the tip of a sharp paring knife and push 2 garlic halves into each one. Cut the remaining 6 rosemary sprigs in half, fold each over, and tuck them into the slits with the garlic.
  4. Season the lamb generously and drizzle over a little more olive oil. Loosely cover the lamb with foil and roast in the oven for 8 hours, checking it now and again to ensure it isn’t starting to become dry (if it does, splash a little white wine on it)
  5. Remove the lamb from the oven and leave to rest for 20 minutes before shredding it.
  6. Meanwhile, make the dressing by whizzing the basil, parsley, mint, mustard, vinegar, capers, anchovies, lemon juice and zest and 125ml olive oil to a paste in a food processor. It should be runny enough to drizzle over the meat.
  7. Place the lamb and feta on a platter, drizzle with the dressing, sprinkle with the lemon zest and arrange the lemon wedges around the sides.
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