Monday, March 1, 2010

Leg of Lamb

After a dry spell in the kitchen, I am back!
Last week, after my father passed away, I just could not get the energy to cook - or update my blog .
I had gone back to France and stayed with my mother and ate "Chef" Picard the whole time. I am now back home, with my mother, my sister and her children...altogether 10 people in the house! Shopping is done accordingly, and meals yield little or no leftovers!
Menu last night was a roasted leg of lamb, with a simple cauliflower puree. I have used this recipe for years, after Catherine's butcher in Paris told us we could never go wrong with these cooking times. Because let's face it, cooking lamb can be a bit of a challenge! I like it medium on the outside and almost rare on the inside (yes, I love rare meat!).
These recipe will be perfect for the traditional Easter dinner, or any other festive occasion.

Roasted Leg of Lamb

Serves 8

1 leg of lamb, bone in
1 head of garlic
1 medium onion
2 small tomatoes
Fresh rosemary branches
1 cup red wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 480F.

Remove some of the fat from the lamb. Peel the garlic and cut 4 cloves into slivers. Cut some small notches in the meat and place the slivers of garlic inside. In the same slot, insert rosemary pieces.
Place some garlic and some rosemary branches at the bottom of a large oven dish. Place the lamb on top and set aside.
Peel and quarter the onion. Add to the dish around the meat. Quarter the tomatoes and add with the onion. Add the rest of the unpeeled garlic cloves, the rosemary. Pour the red wine on the vegetables. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and pepper only on the meat.

Place the meat in the oven. Reduce the heat to 450F and cook for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat again to 355F and cook for another 20 minutes. Reduce again to 320F and cook for another 25 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the meat in to sit for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and place the leg of lamb on a large cutting board. Cover with foil and prepare the sauce.
Add about 3 tablespoons butter to the baking dish and scrape the juices from the sides. Transfer to a bowl.

Remove the foil from the meat and slice thinly.

Serve with french "Flageolets beans", or small dry beans. If you cannot find these beans, navy beans will work also. I served the lamb with a homemade cauliflower puree yesterday and it went well together too!

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