From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I had reservations about posting this recipe on several counts. Not everyone likes lamb and this recipe, developed by Paula Wolfert, uses ingredients that are expensive and not always easy to find. I decided to feature the recipe because the Silver Fox and I both love this entree and I thought at least a few of you might like to give the recipe a try. In a perfect world, this dish would be made with a bone-in leg of lamb. Despite the fact that huge flocks of sheep graze here in Oregon, a whole leg of lamb is next to impossible to find, and I usually have to settle for a boned roast. That makes for easy carving, but makes the use of a meat thermometer an absolute necessity to keep the meat from overcooking. This recipe calls for goose or duck fat, ingredients that I suspect are not gathering dust in your pantries. I understand that some butchers stock it, but I have not been able to find either ingredient in our local markets. I have, however, found an online source that you can link to here. Fortunately, goose and duck fat can be frozen, so I buy a year's supply at a time and tuck it in among the other eclectic items in my freezer. While, in theory, any red-wine vinegar can be used to baste and sauce the lamb, I am partial to one that comes from the Bordeaux region of France. I think it makes a smoother, less acidic sauce. It, too, can be purchased online and you can find it here. Once you have the proper ingredients, this lamb is very easy to prepare. It is studded with garlic, rubbed with goose fat and basted with a vinegar marinade as it cooks, all of which contribute to its great flavor. I do hope you will try this recipe which comes from Paula Wolfert's, The Cooking of Southwestern France. The lamb is wonderful with roast potatoes and I really think you will enjoy it. Here's how it is made.
Lamb Roasted in the Style of Bordeaux...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Paula Wolfert
1 whole bone-in leg of lamb (about 5-1/2 pounds)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thin slivers
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons rendered goose or duck fat
2 tablespoons grapeseed or peanut oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 cup water
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1) Trim off fell and excess fat from lamb, leaving a thin layer of fat. Make about 10 incisions near leg bone and insert garlic slivers. Rub meat with measured salt and pepper, then coat with fat and oil. Massage into meat. Refrigerate, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 2 to 3 hours before roasting.
2) Heat oven to 500 degrees F and arrange a rack in middle.
3) Meanwhile, combine vinegar and shallots in a small nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the shallots and vinegar separately.
4) Place lamb on a rack in a large roasting pan and roast until browned all over, about 25 minutes. Remove lamb from the oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. Pour reserved vinegar and water into roasting pan. Return lamb to oven and roast, basting with the pan juices every 15 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 135 degrees F to 140 degrees F, about 1 hour. Remove lamb to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.
5) Meanwhile, make shallot sauce: Add chicken stock and reserved shallots to the drippings in roasting pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Season as needed with salt and pepper. Slice lamb and serve with the shallot sauce. Yield: 6 servings.
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