Spice-Braised Leg of Lamb
- SERVINGS: 8
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.
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground white pepper
- One 5-pound half leg of lamb, preferably from the hip section
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
With all these spices, you need a bold red, such as a Côtes-du-Rhône.