5 Jul 2015


There is something very comforting about cooking with an open flame, whether it is in a wood fired oven or around a fire pit it fills me with great satisfaction even if I set fire to the meat!  It must stir some redundant Cave Woman gene somewhere deep inside of me!  Slow wood fired cooking adds a great depth of flavour you can not achieve any other way and has given us some of the best tasting cave man cooked dinners.

Prep time 10 minutes / Cooking time 3 hrs partially attended

(Serves 3-4 Adults)

For The Lamb
(2.5-3hrs cooking)
1 lrg whole shoulder or 2 halves of grass feed lamb
8 carrots peeled 
1 onion skin on quartered
1 leek rough chopped
2 stick celery halved
1 whole bulb garlic halved
2 stems of rosemary
4 pints of water
1 tbsp red current jelly
1 large pinch of sea salt and black pepper
The Stock Gravy
300 ml Madeira or port
1 tbsp soft butter & 2 tbsp flour mixed together
(this is to thicken the stock gravy)
Serve With:
Steamed vegetables: peas, cabbage, carrots
8 floury potatoes & beef dripping for gorgeous roast potatoes 

Fire up your wood oven at least 1-2hrs before you are ready to cook.  I like to have white glowing embers that only need a couple of logs periodically thrown on so that I can roughly control the temperature between 250 - 300 degrees Celsius.

This is a lovely simple one pan cook, place the lamb shoulders in a deep roasting tin, throw in the carrots, onion, celery, garlic and leeks, sprinkle the salt and pepper over the skin of the shoulders, slide the roasting pan in to the wood fired oven for a couple of minutes to crisp up the skin, turning the roasting tin once to keep the browning of the skin even.

Remove from the wood oven and add the rosemary and bay leaves along with the water, you want enough water to almost fully cover the lamb.  Cover the roasting pan with baking paper and then with tin foil, 

Place in your wood fired oven for 2-3 hours,turning the roasting pan every 20-30 minutes and occasionally adding another log to the fire to keep the heat around 250-300 degrees.

After two hours of wood fired cooking, start cooking your roast potatoes and 40 minutes later start cooking the vegetables that your are going to serve with this.

When the lamb is ready around 3 hrs, drain off one litre of the gorgeous cooking liquid into a deep saucepan, add 300 ml of Madeira or port and bring to a rolling simmer, reduce by half, add the butter and flour mix and whisk until incorporated and thickened, add another knob of butter for a rich and glossy finished texture.

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