52. Daube of breast of lamb


5 rashers oak-smoked bacon, snipped into 1cm pieces
5 large carrots, cut in 1cm cubes
4 celery sticks, chopped
2 Onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1-2 tbsp Olive oil
two 1.5kg whole breasts of lamb on the bone
rosemary, bay and parsley sprigs, tied together with string
750ml good Red wine
800g tinned chopped tomatoes
salt and fresh ground black pepper
buttered mashed potato, to serve:


1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas 2.

2. Put the bacon pieces in a large heavy-based casserole over medium-low heat. Heat gently until the fat begins to run. Throw in the carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.

3. Tuck the breasts into the casserole, side by side, with the herbs pushed under the flap of one of them. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Pour the wine into a saucepan and heat to boiling point. Set light to it, and watch carefully until the flames die down. Pour it over the meat.

5. Now add the tomatoes, sinking them into the wine as you go.

6. Bring to the boil. Put a layer of greaseproof paper over the top of the pot, cover tightly with a lid, then put in the oven and leave to cook for 3 hours.

7. Using a bulb baster, syphon off as much of the tomato-coloured liquid fat as far as you can - it could be as much as 300ml.

8. Cut the meat into large chunks and transfer to a warmed serving platter. Scoop out the vegetables and the bacon with the juices, and anoint the meat with them.

9. Serve with buttery mashed potatoes.