Five-hour lamb

TRAVEL agent extraordinaire, Trish Difford, has family and friends queuing up at her doorstep when they hear she is making her famous five-hour lamb.
Difford, 56, took her favourite lamb dish from Jamie Oliver’s cookbook and modified it to suit what she has in the fridge, or what ingredients are available.
“This is a real hearty and trouble-free dinner,” said the Walmer resident. The mother-of-two has been making the dish for many years.
Preparation takes less than an hour and once it is in the oven your job is done, said Difford.
She said it was a fool-proof dish so it could be left in the oven without fear of it failing.
“It is a nice winter dish which can be enjoyed with some red wine while the fire is going,” added Difford. Despite being a very busy woman, she has always had a love for cooking and finds it a stress-reliever. But it almost got her evicted once. “I used to live in a flat and I would make food for my neighbours. I almost got evicted because of the noise when they were in my flat,” she laughs.
Difford’s family is “obsessed with food” and her passion for cooking has been passed down to her son Wesley, 29, and daughter Angie, 27.
Large legs of lamb are ideal for this dish as they benefit from slow cooking. If using a smaller leg of spring lamb then consider cooking for an hour less. Serve the dish on mash to soak up the delicious gravy. Serves 6.
1 large leg of lamb;
salt and freshly ground black pepper;
olive oil;
6 rashers thick streaky bacon;
3 red onions peeled and quartered;
3 cloves garlic peeled and sliced;
2 good handfuls mixed fresh herbs – thyme, rosemary, bay
4 large potatoes peeled and cut into chunks;
1celeriac peeled and cut into chunks;
6 large carrots peeled and halved;
3 parsnips scrubbed and halved;
1 bottle white wine
Preheat the oven to 170ºC.
In a large pot or a deep sided roasting tray, brown your well seasoned lamb in a couple of good lugs of olive oil.
Add the bacon, onions and garlic and continue to fry for three minutes, add the herbs and vegetables.
Pour the wine plus an equal amount of water.
Bring to the boil and tightly cover with foil.
Bake in preheated oven for five hours until tender, seasoning the cooking liquor to taste.

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