Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lamb Roasted in the Style of Bordeaux

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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Debs @ The Spanish Wok said...

Oh yes please, delicious.

StephenC said...

I am among those who adore lamb. I wouldn't know where to get hold of a whole leg, but guess who has duck fat on hand. Yep, yours truly.

Tanna said...

Evan would love it if I would try this recipe, Mary. But, for the life of me, I cannot go the smell of lamb cooking. I've tried three times with three different recipes... I will eat it if someone else cooks it, but it has never been a first choice. I'm sure yours might change my thinking! blessings ~ tanna

Angie's Recipes said...

wow Mary, this is perfectly roasted lamb dish. I wish I could taste it now.

Unknown said...

If only someone else I knew liked lamb, I would make this in a heartbeat! I adore lamb and have only made it twice. Again, if I thought I could eat the whole roast.........mmmmmmmm!!!!

Kim said...

It's been a while since I had lamb. This one looks perfectly cooked. Love it Mary, have a nice day!

Cathleen said...

I have never cooked lamb before, but I have definitely eaten it before, and I love it. A lot. I really should try making it soon!

Schnitzel and the Trout said...

Mary, it sounds like a perfect recipe to me. Anxious to try this fall when we no longer are living in a 27 ft. travel trailer. ha ha

Suzie said...

I love lamb but, I'm the only one in my house that does unfortunately. The dish looks and sounds divine though.

Diane said...

I love lamb and our neighbour brought us around a small joint yesterday after he had killed on of his lambs. Perfect recipe. Thanks. Diane

David said...

Mary, My wife and I both love lamb! Like you, good luck in finding anything other than boneless legs of lamb in the grocery stores here in East Tennessee. When we lived in Chicago, we'd have lamb shoulder chops about once every 10 days. In any case, this sounds like a great recipe! Thanks...we'll give it a try. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Mary, this sounds like a wonderful way to cook a leg of lamb, which here in New Zealand is remarkably easy to come by. Though in a country which actually boasts more sheep than people, it ought not to be so expensive!!

Ellen B Cookery said...

This is a fantastic post. We love to eat lamb in our home and are always looking for new ways to cook it.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I'm one of the people that love lamb and have frozen duck fat in my freezer so your recipe sounds terrific as far as I'm concerned.

JG said...

We enjoy lamb. It's a tradition in my husband's family to serve it for a special dinner, so I learned how to cook it. This sounds delicious, Mary!

dr.antony said...

after so long!
Tempting as always!

Jane said...

My dad loved leg of lamb with mint jelly, but you are right -- I don't think I have ever seen it in the store! I will have to keep this in mind if I ever want to make it :)

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