Friday, August 08, 2008


1 leg of lamb de-boned
several feet of kitchen string
4 slices cured, smoked bacon
6-8 cups (one bunch) spinach
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup banyuls blanc or a white port
1 cups chicken stock

Preheat oven to 375.

Begin by frying the bacon in a large sauce pan. Once the bacon is crisp remove the bacon to a plate covered with a few paper towels to drain the excess grease. Pour off the excess grease from the saute pan but leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan. Add the onions and garlic and saute them over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the onions are very soft and translucent. Add the spinach all at once and place a tight lid on top of the saute pan. Let the spinach simmer for a minute or two to allow it to reduce in volume. Continue cooking the spinach for another five minutes tossing occasionally with a spatula or tongs with the lid off.

Chop the cooked bacon into small pieces and add it to the spinach mixture along with the toasted pine nuts,nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove the spinach mixture to a large bowl and allow it to cool.

Lay the lamb leg out flat on a cutting board fat side down. Spoon the spinach mixture into the center of the leg where the bone used to be. Once all the spinach mixture is placed in the leg roll the leg back up and secure with some peices of kitchen string.

Place the leg in a roasting rack above a roasting pan. In the base of the roasting pan add the chicken stock and banyuls. Place the roast in the lowest rack of your oven. Baste the leg of lamb periodically with the banyuls and stock mixture.

Cook the leg of lamb for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the largest portion of the leg reads 145 degrees.

Once the leg is cooked remove the leg to a cutting board to rest. At the same time place the roasting pan on your stove top and heat the stock and banyuls to a rapid boil. Reduce the stock to approximately once cup. Serve the reduced stock either on top of or alongside the meat.

courtesy of: Vanessa Touset and Matt Hiltebrand, Sublime Delights

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