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Recipe for :

Leg of Lamb with Pancetta and Vegetables

This recipe for Leg of Lamb was sent to me by Shirley Cline.

Shirley was a great inspiration to me when I first started working on the idea of creating a recipe and cooking web site. Not only did she encourage me but she also supplied a great many recipes and other pieces which are featured throughout the site. Her great achievement was to teach me to cook risottos over the internet!

Although I never had the chance to meet Shirley, or even talk to her, I regarded her as a good friend. It was with great sadness that I learnt that she passed away in Autumn 2004 and that there would be no more emails. I think she will be sadly missed by a lot of people like me to whom she gave such pleasure with the sharing or her recipes. The pleasure my children have had from her recipe for Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint - not to mention the fights for seconds - has been a joy to behold.

Goodbye Shirley. You will always be remembered. I learnt a great deal from you.


3 - 4 Tblsp. olive oil
1 (4 - 5 lb.) leg of lamb
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 lb. pancetta, cut into 4 slices and diced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine (only one you would drink)
1 (28 oz.) can crushed Italian style tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Water, if needed

  • Heat oil in a large heavy casserole or Dutch oven. Season lamb with salt and pepper and place in casserole. Brown lamb on all sides over medium heat. Remove lamb from casserole.
  • Add pancetta, onion, carrots and celery to casserole. Sauté until lightly browned.
  • Return lamb to casserole. Increase heat and add wine. Cook until wine is reduced by half.
  • Stir in tomatoes and cover casserole. Cook over medium-low heat 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until tender.
  • Stir sauce frequently and use to baste lamb.
  • Add parsley and garlic during last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • If sauce becomes too thick, add a little water.
  • Place lamb on a cutting board and cool 5 minutes. Keep sauce warm. Slice lamb and arrange on a warm platter.
  • Taste and adjust sauce for seasoning, then spoon over meat. Serve immediately.

Shirley Cline