Slow cooked leg of lamb with spiced yogurt and herb salad
I’m about to share the recipe for the BEST meal I’ve ever made: Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb with spiced yogurt and herb salad. What’s more, it’s totally appropriate for babies 6 months or more doing Baby Led Weaning (BLW). I perfected this recipe several times throughout the years and I’m so excited to share it with you today. Impress your guests and make this slow cooked leg of lamb next time you have them over! It’s not only a slow cooked leg of lamb. It’s a layered full meal complete with spiced yogurt and a herb salad. This is part 7 of my “Half Lamb for Babies” series.
I snapped more than 15 pictures as I prepared this meal. Check out how I proceeded!
Before doing Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) with your baby, it is important to proceed safely by contacting a pediatric registered dietitian. Among other things, make sure that:
- your baby is ready and does not start too early
- your baby is sitting at 90 degrees
- you do not place food in his/her mouth with your fingers
- the environment is calm during meals
- you offer the right foods to your baby (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
- you watch your baby eat at all times
- you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely
- you read the warning below
BLW is contraindicated for babies at risk of dysphagia, such as babies who have an anatomic disorder (cleft palate, tongue tie), a neurological disorder (developmental delay, hypotonia, oral hypotonia) or a genetic disorder. Follow-up by a health professional (doctor, pediatric registered dietitian) is necessary for babies at risk of anemia such as babies born prematurely, babies with low birth weight (less than 3000 g), worries related to growth, babies born to an anemic mother, baby for whom cow’s milk was introduced early and/or a vegan baby.
*Cusson and Labonté, Baby-Led Weaning Conference, June 2018, Nutrium, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal
4 days before
To begin, I started thawing the leg of lamb in my fridge.
I also pulled out some homemade chicken broth from the freezer and started thawing it in my fridge.
1 day before
On the day before the event, I prepared the liquid that the leg of lamb will be cooked in. I took 4 room-temperature lemons:
Then, I juiced them to obtain 1 cup of lemon juice.
I combined the spices into the lemon juice and broth mixture. This is the smoked paprika I used:
Here’s the liquid that the leg of lamb will be cooked in:
After that, I took 15 garlic cloves:
And smashed them like this:
Then, I put the smashed garlic cloves in the fridge until the next day. I took the jalapeños:
After, I seeded the jalapeños and quartered them (yes, babies can have jalapeños in this recipe because it gives the sauce a little kick but doesn’t burn the baby’s mouth). I put them in the fridge.
The day of the event
On the day of the event, I seasoned the leg of lamb.
After, I added the onions, garlic and jalapeños to the roasting pan, then the liquid mixture. I placed the seasoned leg of lamb in the middle. The meat (super high in iron by the way!) was cooked at 425F for 45 minutes then 2 ½ hours at a lower heat.
The house smelled divine! The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender. Check out the recipe below for instructions on how to prepare the spiced yogurt and herb salad (can be prepared the day before). Here is an appropriate serving size of the lamb for a baby 6 months or more:
And here is the herb salad (most babies are ready for a raw herb salad like this one at around 12-18 months old):
It’s all coming together! The spiced yogurt, herb salad and meat:
Add on the sauce and it’s almost complete!
We served it on a mixture of mashed potatoes, celery root and carrots that my mom made. Check out the layering of the meat, sauce, spiced yogurt and herb salad. Here is an adult-sized serving:
I cannot explain how good this meal tastes. Here is a child-sized portion:
And the toddlers sitting/standing around their table with their fancy slow cooked leg of lamb with spiced yogurt and herb salad:
We were 12 people total and everyone finished their plate. Some even asked for more. I’m not kidding when I say it’s the best meal I’ve ever made!
Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb with Spiced Yogurt and Herb Salad (for babies 6 months +)
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup fresh lemon juice (I used 4 lemons)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons thyme
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 onions, coarsely chopped
15 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
3 jalapeños, seeded and quartered
One 5.5 lb semi-boneless leg of lamb, tied (2.5 kg)
Sea salt (optional) and freshly ground pepper
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup packed parsley leaves
3/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup packed tarragon leaves
1/2 cup snipped chives
1 jalapeño—halved, seeded and very thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 425F. In a roasting pan large enough to hold the lamb, whisk the chicken broth with the lemon juice, cloves, coriander, paprika, oregano, thyme and peppercorns. Then, add the onions, garlic and jalapeños in an even layer. Season the lamb all over with salt (optional) and pepper and place it in the roasting pan, fat side up.
Braise the lamb, uncovered, for 45 minutes until it just starts to brown. After that, reduce the oven temperature to 325° and braise for about 2 hours and 30 minutes longer, until the meat is nicely browned and starting to pull away from the bone. Then, transfer the lamb to a carving board and let stand for 10 minutes.
After that, strain the braising liquid into a medium saucepan and skim off the fat. Then, boil the liquid until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Season the jus with salt and pepper; keep warm.
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl.
Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut the strings off of the lamb and carve the meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the lamb on a bed of mashed potatoes, celery root and carrots. Drizzle the jus and spiced yogurt over the lamb, top with the herb salad and serve.
This recipe was inspired by Food & Wine.
What do you usually prepare when you have people over? Let me know if you try this recipe by commenting below!