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THE STORY OF A HOUSE – FABLES AND FEASTS FROM LA CREUZETTE

THE STORY OF A HOUSE – FABLES AND FEASTS FROM LA CREUZETTE

Bringing together literature and a passion for food and family, The Story of a House – Fables and feasts from La Creuzette is a book that resonates with what we hold dear at Leopard’s Leap.

Sharing the journey of two South Africans, Louis Jansen van Vuuren and Hardy Olivier, this beautiful coffee-table-style book with spell-binding photography is so much more than memoirs and so much more than a cookbook, it is an inspiration to everyone who enjoys and appreciates beauty.

With Easter coming up, we thought to stay with the tradition of lamb and share Louis’ and Hardy’s recipe for a Double Leg of Lamb. Not only does the natural flavours of the lamb, the herby rosemary and the intense prunes combine perfectly with our recently-released 2015 Leopard’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, but this recipe is also the ideal way to prepare a special meal for a group of people – family or friends who get together over the long weekend.

The Story of a House is available in English and Afrikaans from the Leopard’s Leap Shop, other leading book shops or online. Published by Quivertree Publications.

Double leg of lamb slow-roast in the oven

Sometimes, when we want to cook for a group of friends but don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, we order the bottom half of a lamb from our butcher – it still has both legs attached.

Serves 12

Ingredients

1 double leg of lamb or two individual legs of lamb

For the seasoning

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) coarse salt
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) finely chopped fresh
  • rosemary leaves, plus sprigs for garnishing
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (500 ml) lamb stock or water

For the sauce

  • 1 cup (250 ml) dry red wine
  • 1 litre stock from the oven dish
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) corn-flour

For the gremolata

  • peel of 4 lemons, grated or finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • a handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Method

Remove most of the fat from the leg of lamb, but not all of it, as it lends a delicious flavour to the sauce.

With a sharp knife, make small incisions about 1 cm long and 2 cm deep all over the legs. Make the seasoning by mixing the salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary and mustard. Rub it into the meat, particularly into the incisions, and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 200 °C.

Place the legs in a large, deep oven-dish. Combine the olive oil and lamb stock and pour over the meat. Roast uncovered for 20 – 30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 160 °C. Cover with a lid or seal tightly with foil. Roast for approximately another 90 minutes. Test the meat by inserting a meat thermometer close to the bone – it is done when the temperature is 60 °C, as the flesh will still be beautifully pink.

Pour some of the pan juices over the meat, place the meat on a rack (so that it doesn’t lie in the liquid) and roast in a hot oven (200 °C) for 5 – 7 minutes to form a lovely crispy crust. Turn off the oven and pour all the liquid out of the oven-dish, but let the meat rest in the oven while you make the sauce.

Heat the wine and three cups (750 ml) of the stock over low heat and boil it to let the alcohol evaporate. Stir the corn-flour into the remaining cup (250 ml) of stock, stir into the rest and cook the sauce until thickened.

Combine all the gremolata ingredients. Serve the meat with the gremolata sprinkled on top and the thickened pan juices in a separate jug.

Variation

Soak two handfuls of half-dried prunes in brandy overnight and add to the liquid in the oven- dish about 40 minutes before you plan to remove the meat from the oven, and serve.

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