We’ve had these amazing looking rolled and stuffed lamb bellies available at the market for a while now and they always look amazing! And because they look amazing I haven’t had a chance to cook one until today!
We love lamb belly or lamb flap. I normally call it flap, Neil just calls it amazing. It’s a super fatty cut of meat, quite thin, and if you cook it wrong it will be tough. One of the reasons I’m doing this blog is because I gave the wrong advice to a customer and I’m mortified by it. She ended up with an inedible bit of meat instead of what should have been a melt in your mouth delicious cut of lamb. And I am so terribly sorry!
You can see that there’s a fair amount of fat in this cut but as you cook it, the fat renders down and flavours the meat. Fat is flavour after all.
Did I mention that this was a one pot meal?! Because it is! 😀 I feel like it’s the lazy way to cook but it’s so good! Unfortunately, I’m also cooking this on a 35C day so my kitchen is a bit hot, that’s less good but I’m also outside hanging out with family while this is cooking so that’s good!
I’m sure that you can throw almost any hard root type vegetable that you like to eat into the bottom of the pot and you’d be good. Probably not sweet potato, that’s a bit soft. Maybe towards the end though! But once you have your vegetables sorted out, pop the lid on and put the whole thing into the oven.
This is about the 3 hour mark. We took the lid off and put it back into the oven and turned the heat up a bit. About twenty minutes later I came back to it and turned it down. What I would do next time is wait until the 3.5 hour mark and then take the lid off and turn the heat up. This is also dependent on the size of my roast. The roast I used today was 1.1kg, had it been 1.5kg I would have added an extra 30-45 mins to the initial 3.5 hours. I’ve also used this method of cooking for the stuffed and rolled lamb shoulders that we bring to market as well. It works the same, just remember to adjust cooking times for bigger or smaller roast.
The stuffing is way darker in this picture. But the outside fat is super crispy. I like crispy fat. Taking off the lid is a good move. My only problem at this point is trying to remove the netting and not tear apart the roast. But it’s not really my problem because once the meat is out of the pot and resting under some alfoil it becomes Neil’s problem 😀 I think the adjustment of the cooking time will help with removing the netting or even before cranking the oven to 200C snipping the netting off might work too though.
Ok, so this isn’t the most awesome picture I could have taken. This basically looks like a mess. But it’s a freaking delicious mess! Yes, it was hard to carve. Yes, this is not the roast you serve your new girlfriends parents the first time you meet them. Yes, we may have to get a better carving knife or meat carving person. But oh my goodness! So tasty. The fat kind of sticks to the inside of your mouth but it is so tasty!
Like I said earlier this roast was 1.1kg and when it came out of the oven to rest it was 690g. It lost a lot of weight, there was a lot of liquid fat in the bottom of the pot which I added to my jar of cooking fat in the fridge. And as a side note once that fat cooled it was super hard. Rock hard. Way different to the pork fat that was in my jar. But! Back to the size of the roast! It started as 1.1kg and it fed 3 adults with enough leftover meat for a fourth adult. The only additional thing we had with dinner was thick slices of fresh bread covered in butter. I would have been in trouble if we had 1 or 2 extra people for dinner that night. But a 1 kg roast should be enough for 4 people provided you have additional sides.
My sister said I should have an actual recipe written out at the end of the blog. But I didn’t want to. And then she insisted. She’s really bossy so here it is:
Lamb Belly Roast
Feeds 4 Adults
1kg Lamb belly roast
3 sticks of celery
3 large potatoes
1 large onion
- Set oven for 180C
- Lightly brown vegetables in heavy bottom oven safe pot
- Place lamb belly into pot on top of the vegetables and put the lid on
- Place pot into the oven and leave it for 3.5 hours
- After 3.5 hours take the lid off the pot, return the pot to the oven and turn the oven to 200C
- After half an hour take the pot out of the oven and transfer the lamb belly roast to another dish. Cover with alfoil and let it rest for half an hour.
- The vegetables can be transferred to another dish and placed in the oven (turned down or off) to keep warm and you can make a gravy from the remaining pan juices.
- Serve with your choice of sides and vegetables from the pot. Mash is always a winner.