The Sunday Roast or (8 hr slow cooked lamb)

As I’ve tried to perfect this recipe for The Sunday Roast, or 8hr slow cooked lamb over the years, it’s always been a balance of liquids which ultimately lead to my success.

Outlined below is a step by step thought process which indicates the when, where and the what to add, which leads to what I believe is a beautiful, meltingly tender piece of meat which falls off the bone. You can add or omit the ingredients below to suit your needs, (or indeed pantry)…Happy Cooking!


8hr slow cooked lamb on Girl in a food frenzy.

Lamb leg, best left with Shank on,
1 garlic bulb,
3 small brown onions,
Olive oil,
Good handful of Rosemary,
a few Bay leaves
Salt and pepper
Garnish of Assorted herbs to finish the Lamb, I’ve used Thyme, parsley & coriander,
Freshly boiled Water (as needed.)
**Optional glug of red wine**
Puy Lentils & braised fennel are also terrific in the braise, you can see here for another combination of ingredients

You’ll also need a Shallow roasting pan,

Time: 6- 8 hours approx depending on your oven temp…this also includes your resting time too.

Firstly, bring the Lamb Leg to room temperature, for a good hour (at least).

15 mins before that hour is up, preheat the oven to 220C (428F)

Oil a shallow roasting tray and cut the garlic and onions width ways. Add the lamb leg (skin side up) and season with the salt & pepper, generously. Also you can arrange the Rosemary and tuck some bay leaves around the lamb.

I add approximately 1.5 cups of water at this stage and place the lamb in the centre rack of the oven for at least 35 mins, optional add a glug of red wine if you like.

After the first 30 mins are up, spoon some of the juices over the lamb leg.

Reduce temperature to approx 180C (356 F) and now begins the slow cook.

For the next hour & a half monitor the lamb, (basting) the juices over the meat if it begins to look too dry, (alternatively cover with aluminium foil too,)

Once the hour and half are up, check the lamb and (carefully) turn the leg over so the bottom is now up and vice versa. Add another 2 cups of water, as hopefully the stock begins to concentrate and caramelise. You can also begin to mush some of the (softened) garlic and onion over the skin to impart even more flavour.

Reduce the oven temp to 140C (284F)

Continue cooking for another two hours (basting again) and after the two hours are up turn the meat right way up again. It should now be a deep, dark hue all over.

Time to add another glug of wine (and) another cup of water. My oven tends to evaporate the steam off rather quickly, so what I’m doing is replacing the liquids lost so the meat is continuously soaking up the moisture and (becoming softer and pliable.)

This process can take anywhere from 6-8hrs and eventually you’ll see the meat shrink right down and expose the bone.

After the first 6 hours or so the roast should be a deep colour. At this point if you plan to eat (in the next hour or so) you can turn the oven off and leave the roast in the residual heat to continue cooking. I might do this for up to an hour and a half.

Without a doubt, any resting time will help to improve the texture of the meat.

Time to get some sides on, smashed potatoes and watercress were my given choices tonight along with a tri colour (baby capsicum) salad with chickpeas and yogurt. As the lamb is so very rich I tend to go with sharp bright flavours. I also like to chop a medley of herbs to freshen up the dish at this point.


8hr Slow cooked lamb with lentils & fennel.

Lentils & Lamb, another great combination,

Finally remove the pan from the oven, mush some more garlic and onion over the lamb. You can begin to shred a few pieces away from the bone (which hopefully melt under the tongs) and finish the dish with your herbs and choice of sides.

Like this recipe?

Then please check out our YouTube or the following recipes below:

Asian Master Stock
Braised Ham Hock in Cider

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  1. says

    Thanks for the amazing recipe.
    My partner and I managed to cook it in about 5 hours with an hours resting and it was phenomenal! (we only had 1.5kg half leg lamb)
    The smell is lingering in my kitchen and it’s so good.
    I added extra garlic, salt rosemary and peppercorns in an oil rub and rubbed it over the meat (after scoring) and the flavours got all up in it :)
    Thanks for the hints and tips in the comments as well.

    I had roast meat gravy and mustard as condiments and they also went quite well.

    • says

      Hi Carly, it’s definitely one of my top favourite things to cook! I love a beautiful piece of meat, which just shreds and falls apart under the fork. Your accompaniments sound so delicious too. I must have made five of these before I mastered my favourite method. Happy cooking and thanks for stopping by!

  2. Fiona says

    this looks delicious. there seem to be slight variations between your video demonstration and your written recipe. which one should we follow? also, some recipes recommend not using too much liquid when slow cooking lamb. what are your thoughts? would we need to add as much water if we covered the lamb with the foil? looking forward to making this this weekend.

    • says

      Hi Fiona. I must admit, I’ve used both method’s and I’d recommend both. Just to note, I am using a fan forced oven which I think (does help) the cooking process. As for the liquid, I always keep it afterwards for stock and lentil soups etc, but definitely use your better judgement. If your cut has enough fat over it, then you mightn’t need as much liquid, so long as it looks like it’s shrinking away from the bone as it cooks. Good Luck!

  3. Georgia says

    I’ve used your recipe a few times now and I have to say it’s amazing!! Every time I have someone new over for dinner I cook them this and it’s definitely a winner!
    Thanks so much for letting my family and friends think I’m a good cook!! :) :)

    • says

      Hi Georgia. I’m so pleased to hear that you enjoy this recipe. I made about four of them to get the technique right. So thrilled to hear the method works for everyone. Thanks for sharing your feedback & happy cooking!

  4. Olivia says

    Love this recipe. I’ve used it a couple of times without fail – and the table is silent as too busy devouring to chat :) I’ve also just noticed I’ve been using white, not red wine! Have to try red next time.
    Any tips on getting this ready for a lunch without having to get up ridiculously early? Perhaps start the slow cook with low temps as the first part?

    • says

      I’ve often heard that an oven bag can help to speed things up during cooking. In fact, I’m yet to find one large enough to fit a whole shoulder but I’ll certainly keep looking! As for the lower temperatures you could always try pan frying over direct heat to get some colour and then roast the whole thing, pan and all in the oven on low!

  5. says

    That looks incredibly delicious. It is something I will definitely try. I love your photos, and the instructions — “a glug of wine” cracked me up. I have to admit a lot of my recipes call for a handful of this and a pinch of that, so we could be kindred spirits in the kitchen, although I don’t think I’ve ever made anything that looks that good.

    • says

      Thank you, I’m delighted you enjoy the photos and the video. As for the instructions, I love a glug of wine in or beside the meal, sometimes plain old water does the trick too. The pictures are an enduring hobby & love, though I must add that video is approaching a fast second!

  6. Chana says

    Thanks so much for this absolutely delicious lamb recipe. I served it to my guests for dinner this evening, they all raved about it and wanted your recipe. Thanks also for such clear instructions and video, really well presented, very professional.

    • says

      Thank you Chana. You’re very, very welcome. I battled slow cooked lamb for about a year before I was finally happy with the technique and as I continue to enjoy that slow roasted meat, I promise to keep updating with better tips as I do. Very glad you enjoyed the video too, sometimes they’re handy (as my poor memory) benefits from remembering the steps too.

      Happy Cooking :)

  7. spencer says

    hey ty very much girlinafoodfrenzy ! the dish turned out to be fantastic i had high praise from all who indulged . we will keep it our little secret and i will take the praise ty again =)

    • says

      It’s quite incredible to think (those Lamb recipes) are my post popular posts (even a whole year later!) I love, love, love slow braises and a leg of lamb (or shoulder,) which just melts away is my ultimate comfort food.

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