The weather was so dreary last week that I decided to flee to Brussels in my little car and spend the week end with the best chef I know who was kind enough to cook a gigot de 7 heures (a seven hour leg of lamb) one of the most comforting and delicious winter dish you can dream of. You might remember him, Joseph de Vilmorin, who already shared with us his Poulet Molière last February? It was very successful with all of you. So please enjoy with me the pleasure of cooking and mostly eating this traditional lamb, by a fireplace in a very confortable mansion. There is nothing that can rival good food and wine with exceptional friendship.
For eight guests, buy a leg of lamb of 2,5 kgs, add 500 g of carrots, 500 g of onions and 500 g of (canned) pealed tomatoes, a bouquet garni, (Thyme, laurel, parsley, rosemary) 50 cl of beef broth, 10 cl of olive oil, 10 cl of cognac or armagnac, 50 cl of white wine, water, salt and pepper. After roasting the lamb on both sides in oil in a Le Creuset cocotte, empty the oil and add the juice made with the broth, cognac and white wine and eventually water. The meat should be almost entirely covered with liquid. Add all the vegetable and herbs which will cook with the meat. Put the cocotte in the oven at low temperature (150°) and leave it for seven hours, turning the meat and watering it every half hour. You can proceed over two days if you need to.
It is important that the lamb is constantly cooking in the gravy so do not hesitate to add water or white wine all along.
The lamb is well done when you can eat it without a knife. So the more it cooks the better. The advantage is that you can prepare it the day or the night before and be ready to entertain your guests with no last minute work. You can serve it with mashed potatoes. It is totally delicious and effortless.
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