Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lamb Pot Roast with Juniper Berries

Inspired by an Italian recipe, this is one of the best lamb dishes I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy. Try it some afternoon when you know you'll be staying home. You have to allow at least 3½ hours of cooking time, but once you have the meat simmering, there's very little left to do but turn it over once in a while. Well worth the time, I promise!

2½-3lbs. half-leg of lamb, bone-in
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1-2 bay leaves
3-4 stalks fresh rosemary
2 Tbs. juniper berries
1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
2 Tbs. soy sauce
Freshly ground pepper
1 14-oz. can beef fat-free broth

1. Trim fat from the outside of the meat. Place in casserole with all remaining ingredients except beef broth. Cover and cook over low heat for 2 hours, turning meat every 30 minutes.

2. Increase heat to medium. Continue cooking, leaving cover askew, for another 1½ hours, turning meat once. Very little liquid should remain, and the meat should be a rich brown color.

3. Remove lamb to cutting board and cover with foil to keep warm. Add beef broth to pan and increase heat to high, stirring to loosen any vegetables stuck to pan. Boil for 5-10 minutes, then strain into sauce pan. Let sauce sit for a few minutes, skim fat from the top, and serve with sliced meat. Side dish suggestions: Saffron risotto or mashed potatoes, a vegetable and/or salad. Generously serves 2-3.

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