Gigot de Sept Heures (Leg of Lamb)

This leg of lamb recipe is also called gigot à la cuillère, spoon leg of lamb, because the meat is so tender that you use a spoon, not a knife, to help yourself. It’s cooked for 7 hours, and is very often served for Easter.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 9 hours 15 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 1 leg of lamb (4 lbs.)
  • 4 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 bottle (25 oz.) Sauvignon blanc


  • Preheat the oven to 250°F. Rub the leg of lamb with kosher salt and pepper. Cover it with a cloth, and let rest for 1–2 hours at room temperature.
  • Rinse the leg of lamb under fresh water and dry it. Peel 4 garlic cloves and stick them in the flesh of the lamb, near the bone.
  • In a large French oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown the leg of lamb on each side for about 4 minutes. Then take out the lamb and discard the oil. Put the lamb back in the pot; place the 6 unpeeled garlic cloves in the bottom, and add the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and peppercorns. Pour the can of diced tomatoes and their juice over the lamb. Then pour in the bottle of wine. Cover the French oven and put it in the oven for 7 hours.
  • At halftime, grab the leg of lamb slowly, using a fork, and flip.
  • When the 7 hours are done, use a ladle to remove the juices and the tomatoes from the French oven. Pour in a small saucepan, and put on high heat. The sauce should reduce to ¼, and take on a brown color.
  • Pour the sauce over the lamb.