Jagnjeci But

A delicious marinated lamb, Jagnjeci But (yag-nee-ess-ee boot) makes a beautiful dinner party dish. Accompany with sauteed potatoes and buttered green beans and, to drink, a well-chilled white Zilavka.

1 x

6 lb. leg of lamb

2 fl. oz. vegetable oil

14 oz. canned peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped

3 fl. oz. white wine vinegar

10 fl. oz. dry white wine

1 teaspoon salt

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 medium-sized carrots, scraped and chopped

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

4 black peppercorns

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

First, make the marinade. Place all the marinade ingredients in a large saucepan and bring them to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the liquid into a very large mixing bowl. Add the lamb to the bowl and baste well. Allow the lamb to marinate at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight, turning and basting it occasionally.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Remove the lamb from the marinade and dry it with kitchen paper towels. Reserve the marinade.

In a very large, heavy frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the lamb and cook it, turning occasionally with tongs or large spoons, for 10 to 15 minutes or until it is lightly browned all over.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the lamb to a large ovenproof casserole. Pour in the reserved marinade, then add the tomatoes. Cover the casserole and place it in the centre of the oven. Braise for 2 to 2 hours, basting occasionally, or until the lamb is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the casserole from the oven and with tongs or large spoons, transfer the lamb to a warmed serving dish. Keep warm while you make the sauce.

Strain the casserole liquids into a small saucepan, discarding any pulp remaining in the strainer. Skim off any fat on the surface of the liquid. Bring the liquid to the boil over moderately high heat. Boil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by about one-quarter and thickened slightly. Taste the sauce for seasoning and if necessary, add more pepper and salt. Strain the sauce into a sauceboat.

Serve the lamb at once, with the sauce.

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