Lamb was introduced to Northern China by the Mongols, who invaded China and set up a dynasty which ruled from 1279 to 1368. This is one of a number of dishes adapted by the Chinese to suit their taste.
1 x 4-5 lbs leg of lamb
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 slices ginger root, shredded
2 onions, thinly sliced
5 cups stock
5 tbsps soy sauce
3 tbsps bean sauce or hoisin sauce
2 tsps dried chili pepper or chili sauce
½ tsp 5-spice powder
2 tbsps sugar
1 ¼ cups red wine
2 chicken stock cubes
Place the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan and mix together. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 45 minutes.
Put the leg of lamb into another large saucepan or flameproof casserole. Pour over the sauce. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 1 ½ hours, turning every 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the sauce, then leave to marinate for further 3 hours (or overnight)
About 1 hour before serving, place the lamb in a roasting pan and put into a preheated moderate oven (180°C/350°F, Gas Mark 4). Cook for 1 hour.
Slice the lamb into large bite-sized pieces and serve hot or cold with dips such as hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sherry mixed together, or soy sauce and vinegar mixed together.