Lamb daube

Lamb daube

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy

You will need to start this the night before, to allow time for the meat to marinate.


Quantity Ingredient
900g boneless lamb, (ideally shoulder)

For the marinade

Quantity Ingredient
1 onion
1 garlic clove
4 allspice berries
300ml red wine
1/2 bouquet garni, (see note)

For the daube

Quantity Ingredient
100 g piece streaky bacon
1 onion
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
250ml Brown chicken and veal stock
1 bouquet garni, (see note)
100g plain flour, (for the luting paste)
8 rashers pancetta
2 teaspoons butter, softened and mixed with 2 teaspoons flour, if needed
freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the marinade, halve and peel the onion and cut each half into 3 or 4 wedges. Bruise the garlic and lightly crush the allspice berries. Mix all the marinade ingredients together and place in a large bowl or plastic food bag.
  2. Trim the lamb of excess fat and remove any sinew, then cut into 3–4 cm cubes. Place the pieces of meat in the marinade, cover or seal the bag and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.
  3. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  4. Derind the bacon and cut into lardons or dice. Halve, peel and dice the onion.
  5. Drain the lamb from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a flameproof casserole over a medium to high heat and, working in 2 batches, brown the lamb. If the marinade appears to be preventing the pieces from browning, wipe them dry with kitchen paper. Deglaze the pan after each batch with a little water; taste the deglazing juices and if they are not bitter, reserve them. Add more oil to the pan to brown the second batch.
  6. Set the browned lamb aside and heat about 1 tablespoon oil in the casserole. Lower the heat to low to medium and brown the bacon and onion.
  7. Strain the marinade, discarding the onion and bouquet garni, then pour it over the bacon and onion. Return the lamb to the pan, add the stock and deglazing juices, if using, and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, add the fresh bouquet garni and top up with water if necessary to ensure the meat is covered.
  8. Put half the flour in a small bowl and add enough water to make a stiff dough, or luting paste. Put the lid on the casserole and press a band of the dough around the join of the lid to seal.
  9. Transfer the casserole to the oven and cook gently for 1½–2 hours. Check after 30 minutes; the daube should be bubbling only gently. If it is cooking too quickly, turn the heat down slightly. (Break away the flour paste seal to check the daube and re-seal with fresh luting paste made with the rest of the flour.)
  10. Once cooked, check the meat is tender; it should break easily against the side of a fork. Drain the meat, bacon and onion from the sauce, discard the bouquet garni and return the sauce to the casserole. Taste and reduce to concentrate the flavour.
  11. Meanwhile, turn the oven setting up to 180°C. Place the pancetta between 2 baking sheets and bake in the oven until crisp, about 10 minutes.
  12. Add a little beurre manié (the butter and flour mixture) to thicken the sauce to a lightly syrupy consistency if necessary. Return the lamb, bacon and onions to the pan and reheat gently. Serve topped with the crisped pancetta. Delicious with a root vegetable mash, such as parsnip and crème fraîche, or potato and celeriac.


  • You can use leg or neck in place of shoulder; neck should only take about 45–60 minutes to cook.

    To make the bouquet garni, tie together 1⁄2 celery stick, 1 bay leaf and 1 sprig each of thyme and parsley.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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