I cooked Five Hour leg of lamb from Jamie Oliver's Happy Days w/the N.C. for dinner yesterday, and was told by all that it was "the best lamb I've ever eaten." It was fabulously simple, and incredibly delicious.
There's lots of variants on this recipe out there, and I mashed up Jamie's, which calls for red wine and five hours at 325F, with Patricia Wells', which calls for white wine and seven hours at 300F. I subbed the white for the red wine, and used Jamie's cooking time, since the idea of getting up at 530 on easter morning did not appeal.
I browned the lamb in a big saute pan, which I dry seasoned in the fridge for a day and a half with fresh rosemary, salt, and pepper. I browned some carrot, celeriac, shallot, garlic, and halved fingerling potatoes, added half the bottle of Coppola Chardonnay, brought to a boil on top of the oven in my covered oval dutch oven, added the lamb, deglazed the saute pan with the rest of the wine, and poured that on top of the lamb. I then added a half bottle of water and some more herbs, covered it, and popped it in the oven. I left it undisturbed for five hours, and then took it out to see if it would, indeed, carve with a spoon. It did. (Later, when I was cleaning up, I grabbed the clean end of the leg bone, to tip the remainder up for carving, and the bone came clean out. Holy Fred Flintstone.) I defatted the liquid (one and a half cups of lamb fat, yeeech) and let it sit, covered, while I steamed some asparagus.
I served the lamb with more chardonnay, and a bottle of Torres' Sangre de Toro for those who had to have red wine. It was meltingly tender, well-done enough for my friend who won't eat rare meat, and the vegetables were incredibly savory and tender. It's definitely a recipe I will be making over and over again. Too bad I discovered it just at the advent of the warm season!