My Citizens, I hope you had a very happy Easter Sunday, replete with the delicious meat of the season – LAMB! 🙂
While there are many ways to prepare a classic leg of lamb, your beloved and parenthetic Leader – the mighty TFD! – is especially fond of a less well-known version of this recipe. Specifically, one from the southwest region of France, the oak-festooned hills of the Dordogne!
This recipe is unusual in that it calls for adding anchovy into the flesh of the meat itself – fear not, the final version has no taste of anchovy, but the fillets add an amazing umami kick and when you add garlic, herbs and especially the beloved black truffles of the region (TFD’s addition to the canonical recipe), you are talking about one amazing piece of meat!
If you are unfamiliar with the Dordogne region, allow me to educate you!
The county of Périgord dates back to when the area was inhabited by the Gauls. It was originally home to four tribes.
The name for “four tribes” in the Gaulish language was “Petrocore”. The area eventually became known as the county of Le Périgord and its inhabitants became known as the Périgordins (or Périgourdins). There are four Périgords in the Dordogne.
The “Périgord Vert” (Green Périgord), with its main town of Nontron, consists of verdant valleys in a region crossed by many rivers and streams;.
The “Périgord Blanc” (White Périgord), situated around the department’s capital of Périgueux, is a region of limestone plateaux, wide valleys, and meadows.
The “Périgord Pourpre” (Purple Périgord) with its capital of Bergerac, is a wine region.
The “Périgord Noir” (Black Périgord) surrounding the administrative center of Sarlat, overlooks the valleys of the Vézère and the Dordogne, where the woods of oak and pine give it its name.
It is in the Périgord Noir that this recipe originates and I hope you will find favor with the flavor. My recipe is based very closely on one found at www.dartagnan.com and it is there you can find the truffle, demiglace and duck fat needed for this recipe.
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
- One 5– to 6-pound bone-in leg of lamb
- 8 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 small black truffle, cut into batons
- 12 anchovy fillets, packed in oil – TFD endorses only the Ortiz brand
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 7 ounces duck fat
- Several sprigs of rosemary, thyme and parsley, minced into a paste
- black truffle salt
- 1 carrot, chopped coarsely
- 1 onion, chopped coarsely
- 1 turnip, chopped coarsely
- 1 cup demiglace
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a sharp knife, make 16 small incisions in the leg of lamb and slide the garlic halves into them. Make 8 more incisions around the surface of the lamb and insert black truffle batons into them. Make several broad incisions and push herb paste into them.
- Make 12 small incisions between the fat and the flesh of the lamb and slide the anchovies into them. The anchovies should stay near the surface of the meat. Season with pepper, to taste.
- Heat the duck fat over high heat in a heavy ovenproof pan large enough to hold the entire leg of lamb. Quickly sear the lamb on all sides then place the pan in the oven. Cover lamb with black truffle salt.
- Roast for 45 minutes, scatter the carrot, onion, and turnip around the roast and cook for another 40-45 minutes for medium-rare, or more, according to your preference.
- Remove the meat from the oven and let it rest in a warm place. Slice the lamb and serve with the demiglace sauce on the side and with potatoes sautéed in duck fat.
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