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Lamb in Cider Sauce
An easy-to-cook dish, loosely based on a dish from Normandy.
For 4 helpings:
- 1 best end neck of lamb, in one piece - this should consist of 8 chops
- ½ teaspoon/2gr Salt
- A few grinds of Black Pepper
- 1 clove of Garlic, peeled and halved
- 1oz/30gr Butter
- 1 large Carrot, peeled and roughly-chopped
- 2 small Turnips, peeled and quartered
- 2 medium Leeks, with the dark-green part removed, split, carefully washed, then sliced
- 1 medium Onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 Streaky Bacon rashers, de-rinded (if necessary) and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon/5ml Herbes de Provence - the best (containing green anise & lavender) come from www.gourmetherbs.co.uk (http://www.gourmetherbs.co.uk/)
- 10 fl oz/ ½ pint/300ml Chicken Stock
- 20 fl oz/1 pint/600ml good Cider
- 1 medium Egg, lightly-beaten
- 4 tablespoons (60ml) fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2 oz/60mg Beurre Manié (1oz soft butter blended with 1oz white flour - then set aside
- Salt & Pepper to taste - this will depend on the strength of your chicken stock
A large flameproof casserole, with a well-fitting lid.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190°/375°C/Gas 5.
- Rub the meat (rather than fat) side of the meat with the cut garlic bulb, sprinkle it with the salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
- Chop the garlic finely, and set it aside.
- Heat the butter, in the casserole, over a medium heat, and brown the meat for 2 minutes on each side.
- Remove the meat, and set it aside.
- Lower the heat, then add the chopped bacon, carrots, leeks onions and turnips to the casserole and fry them slowly for 5 minutes.
- Return the meat to the casserole, then add the marjoram/oregano and the chopped garlic.
- Pour in the stock and cider and bring to liquid to a simmer. Cover, and put it in the heated oven.
- Cook it for 1 hour, then remove.
- Carefully take the meat from the liquid, and place it on a grill pan, fat-side-up.
- Brush the fat with the egg, then coat the fat generously with the breadcrumbs.
- Heat a grill, and when hot, grill the breadcrumbs until they're crisp - but not burnt.
- Place the meat on a warmed serving dish.
- Strain the cooking liquid and discard the vegetables.
- Put the liquid over a medium heat and stir in the beurre manié stirring all the time.
- Test the sauce for salt and pepper, then pour the sauce into a serving jug.
- Divide the lamb - giving each guest 2 chops. This can be done at the table.