Two (Legs of Lamb) Are Better Than One

August 8, 2009

It is all right for the lion and the lamb to lie down together if they are both asleep, but if one of them begins to get active, it is dangerous.
~Crystal Eastman

May I never be cured of my weakness for lamb.

MUSTARD & YOGURT LEG OF LAMB

1 (6 to 7 lb) leg of lamb, bone in

6 T Dijon mustard
6 T whole fat yogurt
1/2 T dried red chili peppers, finely ground
1 T dried Herbes de Provence*
1/2 C fresh mint, chopped
3 plump fresh garlic heads, halved crosswise
3 dried bay leaves
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Brandy or cognac

In a medium bowl combine and whisk together the mustard, yogurt, chili peppers, Herbes de Provence and mint to a paste. Place the leg of lamb in a baking dish and brush the paste over all of the meat. Cover and marinate overnight, but bring to room temperature before cooking.

Preheat oven to 450

Place the open garlic head halves, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs in the bottom of a roasting pan. Atop, arrange the lamb on a rack in the pan with the marinade. Place lamb in the lower third of the oven and roast, allowing 10 to 12 minutes per pound for medium rare, about 1 1/4 hours. (Lamb is medium rare at an internal temperature of 130 F).

Remove lamb from the oven and season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer the lamb to a platter, and place on an angle against the edge of an overturned plate. Tent loosely with foil. Turn off the oven and place the platter in the oven, with the door open. Let rest about 20 minutes. The lamb will continue to cook while resting.

Place the roasting pan over moderate heat, scraping up any bits that cling to the bottom. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping and stirring until the liquid is almost caramelized. Do not let it burn. Spoon off and discard any excess fat. Add several tablespoons brandy or cognac to deglaze. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, carve the lamb and place on a warmed platter.

Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve and pour into a sauce boat. Serve immediately, with the lamb.

*Herbes de Provence is that mélange of aromatic dried herbes commonly used in the sun drenched region of Provence.

2 t dried basil leaves
2 t dried thyme leaves
2 t dried savory leaves
2 t dried marjoram leaves
2 t dried rosemary leaves
1 t dried lavender

Coarsely grind all of the ingredients in a spice or coffee grinder by pulsing.

Buen Provecho!

WINE MARINATED LEG OF LAMB

1 (6 to 7 lb) leg of lamb, bone in

Marinade
2 bottles red wine
1/2 C red wine vinegar
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
12 fresh, plump garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
6 thyme leaf sprigs, stemmed and chopped
1/3 C fresh sage, chopped
1/3 C fresh rosemary, stemmed and chopped
4 bay leaves
1 T black peppercorns

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 C red wine
2 garlic heads, unpeeled, halved transversly

Red wine

In a large plastic bag or bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Refrigerate overnight or more, turning from time to time. Remove the meat, pour the marinade through a sieve, and discard the solids. Bring the lamb to room temperature before roasting and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 450

Arrange the lamb on a rack in the roasting pan and add 1 cup red wine to bottom of pan. Place halved garlic heads in bottom of roasting pan. Place in lower one third of the oven and roast, allowing 10 to 12 minutes per pound for medium rare, about 1 1/4 hours. (Lamb is medium rare at an internal temperature of 130 F). The meat should be basted fairly frequently and feel free to add wine should the pan become dry.

Remove from the oven, transfer to a platter and loosely tent with foil. Let rest about 20 minutes. The lamb will continue to cook while resting.

Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium high heat, and deglaze by scraping up the bits in the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid is close to caramelizing, but take care not to burn. Add a few tablespoons of red wine, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so it simmers until thickened some. The sauce should coat a wooden spoon. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve or chinois and serve with the carved lamb.

Advertisements

One Response to “Two (Legs of Lamb) Are Better Than One”

  1. alaycook Says:

    Thanks for bringing my oversight to my attention. I corrrected the recipe. Sorry.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: