Roast Lamb with Artichokes and Lemons from bon appetit

Eze Village

While some of my most memorable meals have featured lamb – carre d’agneau at the Chàteau de La Chèvre d’Or in Eze Village springs to mind – I am not a huge fan of lamb.  Furthermore, I am rather picky on how the lamb is cooked:  I like the rack of lamb cooked medium rare and a lamb shoulder or a leg of lamb cooked well done.   Now Sheila considers me crazy and has tried to reform my eating habits for 40 years or so, but I have so few other vices that I believe she can cut me a little slack when it comes to lamb.

In any event, we had some guests over this weekend and Sheila decided to test her hand at a delightful new recipe from the latest bon appétit for roast lamb with artichokes.  While the artichokes are great, the lemons provide the perfect counter-balance to the rich flavor of the lamb.  We didn’t think the anchovy fillets oil added anything to the recipe and suggest doubling the amount of mint.  In any event, this recipe is delicious for those craving a different taste experience with lamb.  I reproduce the recipe from bon appétit:

 Roast Lamb with Artichokes and Lemons

INGREDIENTS

LAMB AND ARTICHOKES
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 5–7-lb. bone-in lamb shoulder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 14-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 lemons, halved crosswise
  • 6 baby artichokes
ANCHOVY-HERB OIL AND ASSEMBLY
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 anchovy fillets, packed in oil, drained  (Gourmay recommends skipping these little beasties)
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (Gourmay recommends doubling this)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt

PREPARATION

View Step-by-Step Directions
ANCHOVY-HERB OIL AND ASSEMBLY
  • Preheat oven to 325°. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Generously season lamb on all sides with salt and pepper and cook, turning often, until well browned, 12–15 minutes. Transfer lamb and oil to a roasting pan.
  • Carefully add wine to skillet, scraping up browned bits. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you go, garlic, red pepper flakes, and 2 cups water and pour into roasting pan. Squeeze lemons over lamb; add to pan. Roast 3 hours.
  • Meanwhile, remove tough dark outer leaves from artichokes. Using a serrated knife, trim 1” from top. Trim stems and remove tough outer layer with a vegetable peeler. Halve artichokes lengthwise. Toss to coat with pan juices and tuck under and around lamb. Roast, turning artichokes occasionally, until artichokes are tender and meat is falling off the bone, 1½–2 hours. (Remove artichokes if they become too soft before meat is done.)
ANCHOVY-HERB OIL AND ASSEMBLY
  • Pulse oil, anchovies, garlic, parsley, mint, and red pepper flakes in a food processor until smooth; season with salt.
  • When done, place lamb in a large bowl, then transfer artichokes, lemons, and garlic with a slotted spoon to bowl. Pour anchovy-herb oil over; tent with foil. Transfer pan juices to a glass measuring cup. Let sit a few minutes, then spoon off fat from surface. Serve lamb with artichoke mixture and pan juices.

Enjoy!

Editor’s Note:  I see that Chèvre d’Or has 2 stars in the Michelin Guide.   I know they had at least one star when we spent a delightful lunch there in the early ’80s, but this restaurant/hotel is the “real deal.”   It should be on everyone’s “bucket list.”  I recommend cuisses de grenouille as a starter.