Monday, April 29, 2013

Roasted leg of lamb (Gigot d'agneau)

A traditional French dish I've been missing a lot since I moved out of France almost ten years ago is the traditional Easter roasted leg of lamb. Invariably, my mom would cook the most delicious, succulent, tender "Gigot de Paques".

I've been craving it, and I took it into my hands to make it happen ;) Plus, it feeds an army!

INGREDIENTS (for 8-10 people)
- 1 leg of lamb (10-11 lbs, bone in)
- 2 lbs of assorted small roasting potatoes
- 6 large carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks (or if you can find spring carrots, even better! in that case, use 2-3 per person and leave whole)
- 4-6 baby zucchini, quartered
- 2 heads of garlic (peel the cloves of one head, and leave the cloves of the other head in their skins)
- a few bunches of large scallions (or 3-4 leeks)
- 5-6 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- olive oil
- salt, pepper
- about two to three cups of water or broth to baste the meat (if you don't use it all, keep it you will need it for the gravy)
- 2 tbsp AP flour
- 1 cup of red wine

- using a paring knife, punch a few holes on all sides of the meat, and insert the peeled garlic cloves in the tiny holes.

- slather olive oil all over the roast, salt and pepper generously. Lay the rosemary sprigs on top of the meat, and insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part if you have one. Add the garlic cloves with their skins around the roast and cook in a 400F oven for 25 min/lb (the meat will be well done).

- when the meat is about one hour shy of being done, add the quartered potatoes and carrots, toss in the dripping juices and cook for 30 minutes
- after 30 minutes, add the scallions and zucchini, and cook another 20 minutes

- remove the meat from the pan, and let rest for at least 20 minutes wrapped in aluminum foil

- put the vegetables in your serving dish and proceed to making the gravy with the juices

- put the roasting pan on your stove top, and cook the flour in the drippings for about 1 minute, scraping as much of the drippings as possible, then add the remaining broth (at least a cup) as well as the wine. Make sure to stir well to avoid any lumps, and pour in a serving bowl
- for a more impressive display, serve the roasted lamb whole on top of the vegetables, otherwise carve the meat and serve on top of the vegetables

- Bon appetit!

PS: amazing leftovers for a tweaked Shepherd's pie! Separate leftover potatoes and mash them. Mince the meat, and any remaining veggies and soak with leftover gravy. Pack the gravy-meat-veggie mixture in a baking dish and put the mashed potatoes on top. Bake for 45 minutes at 325F.

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