21 March 2008

Spring is upon us!

Finally Spring is officially here! Nature has been awakening in the past few weeks with flowers blooming and trees blossoming.
With a group of French friends "Les gourmandes" we celebrated Spring and Easter with a traditional Easter meal. For this occasion I baked a "Gigot Brayaude" (leg of lamb) this recipe comes from the part of France where I grew up "Le Bourbonnais" (in the center of France). Here is the recipe I saw my Mom make many a time as I grew up.

Gigot Brayaude/Leg of lamb (for 12)
3kg/just under 7 lbs leg of lamb
2 kg firm potatoes (I used Yukon gold)
8 cloves of garlic
Coarse sea salt
Fresh rosemary
Edible lavender (this is my personal touch)
1 large roasting dish
Place roasting dish on heated stove, pour approx. 1 inch/2.5cm water, coarse salt, pepper, 4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced and bring to boil.
While water mix is on the stove peal, wash and thinly slice the potatoes, place them in the boiling water on the stove.
Let it boil away for 15Mn or so while you prepare the meat.
Trim as much fat as possible from the leg of lamb, then insert small slices of garlic in the meat all over by making small incisions with a sharp knife, use up the last 4 cloves.
Then baste the lamb with olive oil and rub on it fresh rosemary, thyme and lavender and sprinkle some pepper and coarse salt.
Place lamb on top of the potatoes and put dish in the pre-heated oven at 440 F (do not cover).
Cooking time is 15 Mn per pound to obtain a rosy not overcooked lamb.
Half way through the cooking time turn meat over.
Two thirds of the way turn oven down to 400 F.
When cooking time has been reached (for the piece I had I cooked it for 1h30Mn), turn off the oven and open the door slightly, leave the dish in the oven to rest for another 15Mn or so.
Then slice and serve with the potatoes, another vegetable that compliment this dish are green beans.

Bon appétit

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