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Spice-Braised Leg of Lamb


What goes better with lamb than vibrant spices, such as coriander, cumin and curry? Here Eric Lecerf presents one of his most popular dishes, a leg of lamb that is braised ever so slowly with a little stock in the oven until it is very tender.

  1. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  2. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  3. 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  4. 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  5. 2 teaspoons curry powder
  6. 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  8. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  9. 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  10. 1 teaspoon coarsely ground white pepper
  11. One 5-pound half leg of lamb, preferably from the hip section
  12. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  13. 2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  1. Preheat the oven to 250°. In a small bowl, combine the garlic with the thyme, cumin seeds, rosemary, curry, salt, ground cumin and coriander, coriander seeds and white pepper. Cut 16 slits, each about 1 inch long by 1 inch deep and spaced 1 inch apart, in the meat. Rub the spice mixture all over the lamb, working it into the slits. Set aside any spice mixture that does not adhere.
  2. In a medium flameproof casserole, heat the oil. Add the lamb and lightly brown it on all sides over moderate heat, about 2 minutes per side. Add the stock and any remaining spice mixture. Cover with a sheet of buttered wax paper and a lid. Braise the lamb in the oven for 3 hours, or until very tender. Check the meat from time to time and baste as necessary to prevent it from drying out.
  3. Transfer the lamb to a carving board. Strain the cooking juices through a fine sieve; skim the fat. Transfer the juices to a gravy boat. Thickly slice the lamb and serve with the juices.
Serve With Braised seasonal mixed vegetables, such as carrots, leeks, shallots and potatoes.

Suggested Pairing

With all these spices, you need a bold red, such as a Côtes-du-Rhône.

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