Braised bistro lamb


  • Prep Time15 mins
  • Total Time15 mins
  • Makes4 to 6 servings
*PLUS Baking Time: 120 minutes


  • 1.5 kg boneless lamb shoulder

  • 1 large onion

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme, or 2 tsp dried thyme

  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, or 2 tsp dried rosemary

  • 796-mL can diced tomatoes, including juice, or 4 to 6 fresh tomatoes coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup dry red wine

  • 284-mL can undiluted beef broth

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 medium parsnips

  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled

  • 3 or 4 large carrots, peeled, or 1/2 500-g bag baby carrots


  • If using frozen lamb, thaw in a dish in the refrigerator overnight. If lamb is wrapped in netting, don't remove; if there isn't any, tie lamb with butcher string. If using fresh lamb, ask your butcher to tie with string to keep it from falling apart as it cooks. Preheat oven to 450F (230C). Place lamb in a large, wide ovenproof saucepan or baking dish with a tight-fitting lid. Coarsely chop onion and mince garlic. Sprinkle over meat. If using fresh herbs, tie together with string so they can easily be removed. Place beside lamb. If using dried herbs, crumble over lamb. Add tomatoes and their juice, wine, undiluted broth, salt and pepper.

  • Bake, covered, in centre of 450F (230C) oven 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350F (180C) and continue baking another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and slice parsnips into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. Slice potatoes into thick wedges. If using regular carrots, slice into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. Leave baby carrots whole. Once lamb has cooked 1 hour, turn over and tuck veggies around it. Continue baking, covered, until meat and veggies are fork-tender, about 1 more hour. Remove fresh herbs.

  • Remove pan from oven. Place meat on a platter. Cover with foil. To thicken sauce, scoop out one-quarter of veggies and sauce, leaving the rest in pan. Place in bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Purée until smooth. Return to pan and stir in. Set over medium heat on stovetop. Stir often until hot. Remove netting or string from lamb. Slice. Spoon veggies and sauce overtop.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 607, Protein 38.8g, Carbohydrates 41.3g, Fat 31.8g, Fibre 6.4g, Sodium 1007mg.

Tender and juicy, this slow-cooked one-pot lamb dish is most satisfying on a chilly night. To complete this casual bistro-style dinner, add a spinach salad, a baguette and a glass of Merlot.

Leg of lamb

We also used a 4-lb (2-kg) frozen boneless leg of lamb in place of the shoulder. Defrost, remove netting and cut into 3 large pieces. Place in saucepan and proceed as above. Ours needed 3 hours cooking.