Sunday, April 1, 2012

Gigot d'Agneau A La Francaise (Roast Leg Of Lamb French-Style)

The trditional dish, served all over France at Easter lunch. 


1 leg of lamb, 8 to 9 pounds
1 tablespoon corn, peanut or vegetable oil
Salt to taste, if desired
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 large cloves garlic, each cut into 16 slivers
2 onions, cut crosswise in half
2 bay leaves
1 carrot, trimmed, scraped and cut crosswise into 6 pieces


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Have the butcher remove and set aside the hipbone of the lamb. Rub the meat all over with the oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and the thyme. Make 16 gashes in the flesh of the leg and insert the garlic slivers. Place the leg, the thickest side down, in a roasting pan and scatter around it the hipbone, onion halves (cut side down), bay leaves and carrot pieces. Place in the oven and roast one hour. Remove the lamb and pour off the fat from the pan. Return the lamb to the pan, the thickest side up. Pour one cup of water into the pan and continue baking 30 minutes for medium-rare lamb (135 degrees internal temperature). If you wish the lamb well done, continue cooking 30 minutes or longer. Remove the lamb from the oven, discarding the vegetables, cover with foil and let it stand for 20 minutes before carving. |


2 lbs of haricots verts
2 lbs of Fingerling potatoes
1 pound dried flageolet beans, about 2 cups
3 sprigs of parsley
1 carrot, about 1/4 pound
1 onion, about 1/4 pound, stuck with 2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup heavy cream



Day before:  Put the flageolets in a mixing bowl and add cold water to cover about two inches above the top of the beans. Let stand overnight. Drain the beans and put them in a kettle. Add the eight cups of water, the carrot and the onion stuck with cloves. Tie the celery, parsley sprigs and bay leaf into a bundle and add it. Add the thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil. Cover and let simmer two hours or slightly less until the flageolets are tender. Remove and discard the onion, celery, parsley and bay leaf. Remove the carrot and cut it into small cubes. Set aside. Drain the beans but reserve one- half cup of the cooking liquid. Set aside.

10 Minutes before serving:

Heat the butter in a large skillet and add the garlic and shallots. Cook briefly, stirring, and add the beans, chopped parsley, carrot and cream. Let simmer five minutes and serve. 

Haricots Verts
AHEAD OF TIME: Prepare string bean by snapping off the 4ends and taring them from one end to the other removing and strings. Place in salted cold water and bring to boil. When beans are soft, strain.
5 minutes befor4e serving, melt 1 tablespoon f butter in a casserole and war the bean in the butter. Add salt, pepper and chopped parsley before serving.

Sauteed Fingerling Potatoes.
AHEAD OF TIME: Place in salted boiling water and until cooked. Remove, drain and allow to cool. Remove skins and 10 minutes before serving, melt butter in a pan and warm up potatoes until they are golden brown. Add salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Serve.

Gerard’s Wine Suggestions:
Lamb is a savory yet refined and textured meat demands a wine with personality, good strong structure and distinct flavor. I choose, therefore, Bordeaux wines as much of France will this week. Our local wine merchants suggest the following:

Cahors Clos de la Coutale 2009 : this blend of Malbec, Merlot and Tannat offers rich and plum flavors enhanced by subtle notes of vanilla from it’s oak aging. A beautiful dry, but fruity-forward red wine with nice balance. $15.99 @ Arlington Wine
Graves Chateau Haut-Vigneau 2009 : Wonderfully expressive and notable for its engaging red currant and fresh herb flavors. This is a youthful red from Pessac-Leognan, but still quite drinkable now. $20.99 @ Arlington Wine
St Julien Chateau Lalande Borie 2006 : A refined and well-known Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from the great St Julien area in Bordeaux left bank. Blackberry and mocha flavors mingle on the palate, offering wonderful texture and perfect accompaniment to hearty meals. $24.99 @ Arlington Wine
Medoc Chateau Patache 2004 : Would be a great pair because of it’s balance of richness/acidity and his Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Deep earthy notes. $24 @ Village Wine
Medoc Esprit de Preuillac 2005 - $22.99 ou Château de Bensse 2008 - $24.99  @ Pine Plains Wine

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