Hello again to continue our little culinary journey, I have already mentioned that the French tend to eat ‘locally’ and also told you that, I have four excellent markets a week within a few hundred yards of my apartment, all selling wonderful fresh local produce. But this is not confined to the markets, there are also very good butchers, bakers, fromageries in my neighbourhood, and the supermarkets also source their meat, fruit and vegetables as locally as possible; eating supermarket carrots from a local farm, with the soil and foliage still attached costing 1.99 euro is FAR preferable to buying a plastic bag of washed, scrubbed and uniform sized carrots for 59pence from Aldi – they are just NOT the same – They also offer a large array of brightly coloured vegetables including yellow and violet carrots (see photo), orange and lime green cauliflowers!
This next dish is not ‘local’ to Paris or Liverpool, but is local to where I used to live in North Wales and be woken to the bleating of newborn lambs around this time of year.
I found this leg of lamb in a local supermarket with a label telling me that this was ‘Welsh lamb, from an animal raised in the Snowdonia region, where there was a lot of rainfall, making the grass rich and succulent, and the meat tender and fragrant’ I’m not sure who writes this stuff, but they sure are accurate…….
Lamb au Vin
1 leg of Welsh lamb – what else!
1 bottle of red wine (I used a Bergerac, which is not to heavy and not too pricey)
4 cloves of garlic, sliced lengthways
6 sprigs of rosemary
course sea salt
Rub the leg of lamb all over with the sea salt to soften the skin and leave for 30 minutes
Wipe off any excess salt
Heat a good amount of olive oil on the stove in a deep sided ovenproof tray
Brown the lamb on all side and finally turning right side up
Make several half inch (1.5 cm) cuts in the skin and insert the sliced garlic and sprigs of rosemary and season with a little black pepper
Pour over 1 bottle of red wine plus the equivalent amount of water and bring to the boil
Cover loosely with foil and transfer into a pre heated oven at 210 degrees (gas mark 6) for 30 minutes Reduce heat to 170 (gas mark 3) and cook for a further four and a half hour, removing foil for the last 20 minutes.
Transfer to a serving dish and allow to rest for 10 minutes
While the meat is resting, pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil and reduce to a rich sauce.
Transfer into a serving dish, the meet should just fall away from the bone.
I usually serve this with a mixture of roasted vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots and parsnips that cut into chunks and I roast together in one dish sprinkled with sea salt and rosemary.
Alternatively with steamed new potatoes, steamed baby carrots and green beans.