Seems an odd way to cook lamb but it does work honestly ! Just a shame breast of lamb is not as cheap as it used to be.
- 1.6 kg lamb breast, boned, rolled and tied with kitchen string
- fine salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 2 tbsp dripping or vegetable oil
- 6 kg onions, thinly sliced
- 2 bay leafs
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
- Season the lamb with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Melt the dripping or oil in a large, non-stick frying pan until hot. Place the lamb breast into the casserole dish, turn down the heat to medium/hot and colour well on all sides, until golden-brown. Lift out the meat.
- In a large casserole dish with a well-fitting lid add half of the onions to make a bed of onions with one of the bay leaves on top and put the lamb on top Put the other bay leaf on top of the lamb and cover with the remaining onions. Drizzle the remaining fat from the frying pan over the lamb and onions.
- Cut a circle of greaseproof paper slightly bigger than the diameter of the dish. Dampen it, lightly grease one side, and press it onto the onions (greased side down). Put on the lid cook in the oven for about three hours. After an hour, remove the dish to see whether the onion mixture has reduced and to check that the natural juices are running. Scrape down the side of the dish if the onions have stuck. Replace the paper and lid and place the dish into the oven again.
- After about three hours of cooking (check after another hour), push a skewer into the lamb to see how tender it is; there should be little resistance. Lift out the meat, put it into a small roasting tin and cover with foil. Turn down the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1 and return the meat to the oven while you finish the onions.
- Remove the bay leaves from the onions, if there is a lot of fat drain the cooking juices and de-fat the cooking juices. Then put the juices back into the casserole with the onions add 100 /200 ml water, bring to the boil and reduce the liquid until onions are coated with liquid but not floating in it. Stir in the vinegar and fish sauce.
- Season the onions to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Finally, stir in the parsley.
- Remove the lamb from the oven (if any meaty juices have exuded from the resting lamb, add them to the onions), cut off the strings and thickly slice the meat. Arrange the slices onto a hot serving dish and pile the onions alongside.
- Serve with garlicky mashed potatoes and greens.
Adapted from a recipe at: