What’s for Dinner?
Roast Leg of Lamb with Baked Potatoes and Onions (Gigot d’Agneau avec Pommes de Terre Boulangère)
-The Culinary Institute of America
Roast leg of lamb is perfect for Spring. It’s a great dish to make on the weekend.
lb leg of lamb, bone in
1 garlic clove, very thinly sliced
4 sprigs thyme, divided use
Salt and pepper as needed
1/2 cup lard, melted
1 recipe Pommes Boulangère (recipe follows)
1 3/4 cup large-dice onion
3/4 cup large-dice peeled celery
2/3 cup peeled, large-dice carrots
2/3 cup peeled, large-dice parsnips
1 tsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups lamb or veal stock
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pierce the meat with a paring knife just beneath the skin and push about half of the garlic slices into the incisions, along with 2 sprigs of the thyme torn into pieces. Rub the skin with enough salt and pepper to lightly coat. Place the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan and pour the lard drippings over it.
2. When the potatoes have been cooking for 30 minutes, place the lamb into the oven and cook for 30 minutes, and then turn the oven down to 350°F. Continue to roast the lamb for another 30 minutes, basting the meat every 15 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the oven and place the diced vegetables and remaining sliced garlic under the roasting rack. The juices from the meat will drip onto your vegetables and give them a wonderful flavor. Return the lamb and vegetables to the oven and roast for an additional 30 minutes, by which time the vegetables will have started to take on a golden brown color. Turn the vegetables, so they cook evenly. Reduce the heat to 300°F for the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking; the lamb should be finished to your liking at this point.
4. Remove the lamb from the oven and transfer to a platter. Keep warm while preparing the gravy. (This also lets the meat “rest” before you carve it; you’ll find that meats allowed to rest before carving slice better and are much juicier.)
5. To make the gravy, pour off the drippings from the roasting pan and save it in the refrigerator to baste your next roast. Leave a little of the fat with the vegetables and all of the brown fond from the roast in the pan, put it directly over the burner (medium heat) and fry the vegetables for about 4 minutes, or until they are lightly caramelized. Add the tomato paste and cook about 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Be careful not to burn the vegetables or tomato paste.
6. Add the remaining 2 sprigs of thyme and the bay leaf. Add the wine and reduce the gravy over medium heat until it’s almost dry, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and reduce it until the sauce lightly coats the roasted vegetables, about 20 minutes. Any juices that have come from the lamb resting on the plate can be added to the sauce to improve its flavor. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. You may strain the sauce at this point or leave the vegetables in.
7. Place the potatoes back in the oven to warm them up, if needed. Remove them when warmed and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Place the lamb on top of the potatoes to carve. To serve, arrange the potatoes in a semicircle around the outside of the plate, place the carved lamb in the center, and finish the dish with sauce.
Reprinted by permission from The Culinary Institute of America, Bistros and Brasseries: Recipes and Reflections on Classic Café Cooking (Lebhar-Friedman Books 2008).