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Braised Leg of Lamb with Spinach Filling

Author
JWU College of Culinary Arts

Minimum internal temperature 180°F

Yield
10 servings

Serving Size
10 ounces (285 grams)

Recipe ID
C00265

Ingredients
US standard
Metric
Leg of lamb, boneless
5 pounds
2.3 kilograms
Salt, Kosher
To taste
To taste
Black pepper, ground
To taste
To taste
Garlic cloves, peeled, minced
8 each
8 each
Rosemary leaves, fresh
¼ cup
14 grams
Filling:
Bacon, chopped
½ pound
225 grams
Onion, peeled, cut macédoine
1 each
1 each
Spinach, fresh, no stems
2 - 10 ounce bags
568 grams
Bread crumbs, Panko or Japanese breadcrumbs
As needed
As needed
Boursin Cheese
1, 5-ounce box
142 grams
Vegetable oil
As needed
As needed
Sauce:
Onion, peeled, roughly chopped into 1-inch (2.54-centimeter) pieces
2 large
2 large
Carrot, peeled, roughly chopped into 1-inch (2.54-centimeter) pieces
2 medium
2 medium
Celery, roughly chopped into 1-inch (2.54-centimeter) pieces
3 stalks
3 stalks
Leeks, white parts only, cut into 1-inch (2.54-centimeter) pieces
2 each
2 each
Fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
2 teaspoons
2 teaspoons
Thyme sprigs
5 each
5 each
Tomatoes, whole, canned, drained, chopped
2 cups
474 milliliters
Demi-glace
1 ½ quarts
1.5 liters
Lamb or beef stock
1 ½ quarts
1.5 liters
Red wine
1 cup
237 milliliters
Red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon
Sugar
1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon
Salt, Kosher
To taste
To taste
Black pepper, ground
To taste
To taste
Preparation
  1. Gather all the ingredients and equipment.
  2. Butterfly lamb leg, trimming excess fat, as needed, from the inside of the meat. The piece should be uniform in thickness and as squared off as possible.
  3. Season the inside surface of the meat with salt and pepper. Sprinkle evenly with the chopped garlic and rosemary. Rub the flavorings into the meat and set aside while the filling is made.
  4. To make the spinach filling: Cook the chopped bacon until crisp over medium low heat. Remove and hold for later. Pour off and reserve all but 3 tablespoons of fat. In the remaining fat, sauté the macédoine onion until softened. Add the spinach and turn with tongs until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and pour off excess moisture. Add enough breadcrumbs to make a soft stuffing, allow to cool in the refrigerator.
  5. Evenly spread the inside of the meat with the Boursin cheese. Then spread the filling leaving a 1-inch (2.54-centimeter) border on the long sides. Sprinkle with half the reserved bacon bits. Wrap the lamb to form a tight log and tie with twine. Season the outside of the rolls well with salt and pepper. (See Chef´s Notes).
  6. Heat the oil in a braising pan over medium-high heat and sear the lamb on all sides. Remove and hold.
  7. For the Sauce: In the same pan heat 2 ounces of the remaining bacon fat. Sauté the mirepoix vegetables over moderate heat until lightly caramelized. Add the fennel seeds and thyme and sauté until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, demi-glace, stock, wine, vinegar and sugar. Bring liquid to a boil and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Add the lamb and remaining bacon bits to the sauce and baste well. Top the pan with a parchment circle and wrap tightly with foil. Braise in a preheated 350°F (177°C) oven for 1 hour.
  9. Uncover pan, turn the leg over and re-wrap pan. Braise approximately for 1 more hour. Remove the lamb from the oven and check for doneness. If the meat is tender, hold moistened and covered.
  10. Meanwhile, strain the sauce and reduce to a nappé consistency.
  11. Slice meat into 1/4- to 1/3-inch (0.63- to 0.83-centimeter) thick slices. Plate and nappé with hot sauce.
  12. Serve immediately or hold hot at 135°F (157°C) or above.