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Cat's Greek Inspired Slow Cooked Lamb in Honey & Thyme

Cat’s twist on her favourite meal from a recent trip to Greece.

"On Kos, my favourite dish was slow cooked goat leg in honey and thyme. It stood out for me as an alternative to kleftiko, using less tomates and no wine. My version uses lamb but as goat is lower in saturated fats and generally healthier, it’s a good alternative if you want to swap it. Cook the same way, low and slow."


This dish is perfect for a Sunday as it requires about 20 minutes of preparation, browning the meat and onions, then putting it in a very low oven.  You can then go outside and enjoy the golden light on an Autumn afternoon walk. Head home after a few hours or so and this meal will be waiting for you. It’s also a one pot dish so no arguments about who does the washing up!  

You can serve it with rice, orzo, buttery polenta or more vegetables, but as it's already quite hearty from the potatoes, I serve it as it is and mop up the sauce with a chunk of warm bread.  


Recipe

  • 500g diced lamb leg (or goat)

  • 2 large banana shallots

  • 2 carrots

  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic

  • 500ml good stock (lamb ideally but I’ve used chicken and it works)

  • 2 large baking potatoes

  • Tin of anchovies

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 10 sprigs of fresh thyme

  • Handful Black olives (optional)

From your store cupboard

  • Salt and pepper

  • Tablespoon of plain flour

  • Drizzle of cooking oil



Method

  1.  Slice the shallots and caramelize in the pan on a medium heat, with some of the whole thyme sprigs, you want the flavour of thyme to really develop throughout the dish so adding here starts to build that flavour.

  2. When shallots are browning, add the sliced garlic and cook for a few more minutes then remove everything from the pan and set aside.

  3. Dice the lamb into 3cm sized pieces, lightly dredge in flour, salt and pepper.  This will help thicken the sauce.

  4. Oil the same pan and add lamb, browning all over again on a medium heat, it's important to get a good deep colour on the meat at this stage.  If the bottom of the pan starts to stick from the flour and meat juices, don’t worry as this will deglaze when you add the stock, but lower the heat if it looks like it will burn.

  5. Once the lamb has a good colour, return the onions to the pan along with the rest of the vegetables.  Add stock and top up the pan with around 500ml water. 

  6. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan, making sure you capture all of the flavour from the meat back into the stock.

  7. Add a squeeze of tomato paste, a whole tin of anchovies and honey.  This amount of honey will result in the dish being quite sweet.  This is how I enjoyed it in Kos but feel free to go easier on the honey and add more later to taste.  The anchovies are acting as a seasoning here so you don’t need to add too much salt at this stage.  Wait and adjust later.

  8. Add the rest of the thyme here.

  9. Cover with the pan lid, or foil and put in a low oven if you are going to be out for four to six hours 60C or 100C if you prefer it to be done in 2 to 3 hours.

  10. 30 minutes before serving, remove the lid or cover and throw in a handful of black olives if using, again these work as a seasoning, so you really won’t need to add a lot of salt.  You can adjust the level of honey at this stage.

  11. When ready, serve in bowls to capture the sauce.  Sprinkle on fresh thyme leaves and eat.


@lightfoot_and_food

Images courtesy of this weeks contributor © Catherine Lightfoot 2021