There is an Italian tradition of cooking meat in milk. The slow cooking and lemon zest split the milk into delicious ricotta-like curds, making a clumsy but delectable sauce in the tray. The flavours are large and bold, and the cooking is straight forward and unrefined, leaving time and gentle heat to create the transformation. Lamb leg is often cooked until still blush and pink in the middle, this recipe really needs the time to bring the flavours together and the meat becomes meltingly soft.



  • Preheat your oven to 220⁰C/ gas mark 8.

  • Pull the zest from the lemon in long strips with a peeler. Throw the zest into a pestle and mortar with the bay, rosemary and garlic and give it all a couple of rough bashes – this helps to release the oils in the zest and herbs, and breaks the garlic from the skins

  • Rub the lamb with olive oil and season it generously with salt and pepper. Place it in a snug fitting casserole pan or deep roasting tray. Transfer to the hot oven and roast for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

  • Remove from the oven, carefully lift the lamb leg out and pop it on a plate. Discard any excess oil and pour the milk into the pan. Use a spoon to scrape and dislodge any of the delicious burnt bits on the bottom. Add the smashed zest, bay, rosemary, garlic and fennel seeds; don’t worry if some garlic skins go in too.

  • Return the lamb to the pan and pop on a tight-fitting lid – if you are using a roasting tray cover with a cartouche of baking parchment and cover tightly with foil.

  • Return to the oven, drop the heat to 150⁰C/gas mark 2 and cook for 4 hours.

  • After 4 hours remove the lid. Check the lamb, it should be tender and pull apart with little resistance. Increase the oven to 180⁰C. Give it a final 20 minutes, uncovered, to deepen the colour and reduce the milk down a little more.

  • While the lamb is finishing. Warm 2 tablespoons of oil in a wide, shallow saucepan. Add the artichokes and spring onions, season with salt and pepper, and fry for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat. Add the wine and let it reduce by half before pouring in the stock.

  • Drop to a very gentle simmer and pop on the lid. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the artichokes are tender. Fold in the peas and broad beans and cook for a final 2 minutes to warm them through. Finish with parsley and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

  • Pull the lamb from the bone and serve with the veg. Use the liquid and curds from the roasting tray as a sauce/gravy, plucking out any zest, herbs or garlic skin as you go.

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