“It was a pleasure to feel one’s self in Provence again-the land where the silver-grey earth is impregnated with the light of the sky.” Henry James
This recipe originated in Paris from Ina Garten’s friend Myriam Richard-Delorme. Its simplicity of preparation earned it a place in The Barefoot Contessa’s “How Easy Is That” cookbook. A leg of lamb is placed in a roasting pot, rubbed with a Dijon- rosemary-garlic paste, smothered in tons of onions, garlic, fresh chopped up tomatoes and drizzled with honey to caramelize the roast without having to brown it first. The result is a succulent, moist lamb with a flavorful sauce.
When we finally had the first warm day of spring recently, I wanted the day to work in my garden and be outside. This was a perfect dish to cook itself while I played outside. I don’t know if I am the only one who is shocked by how much salt Ina uses in her cooking. I reduced the salt significantly and added chick peas to the tomatoes for a bit of a cassoulet result. OMG, was this fabulous! The house smelled incredible too. Enjoy!
EASY PROVENÇAL LEG OF LAMB
- 6-7 lb, bone in leg of lamb, trimmed and tied(mine was deboned)
- 1/2 c Dijon
- 3 T chopped garlic, divided, from 9 cloves
- 1 T fresh or 1 t dried rosemary leaves
- 1 T balsamic
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 lbs of ripe fresh tomatoes, chopped in 1″ chunks
- 1/2 c olive oil
- 1/2 c honey, divided
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 4 sprigs of thyme and rosemary (I used oregano from the garden instead of the thyme)
- 1 c of chick peas or white beans
- Preheat oven to 450F
- Place the lamb fat side up in a Dutch oven pot.
- In a small food processor, make a paste with the Dijon, 1 T of garlic, the balsamic, 1/4 c of the honey, the rosemary, 1 t salt and 1/2 t pepper. Spread this over the lamb.
- In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the onions, remaining garlic, olive oil, and 1 t salt and 1/2 t pepper. Place all around the roast. Add the chick peas.
- Drizzle the rest of the honey on the roast. Roast, uncovered, on lowest rack, at 450F for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350F and roast an additional hour. Remove roast from pot and rest on a cutting board, covered in foil for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Serve with the sauce and vegetables and beans on the side.