Leg of Lamb with Savoury Rice

Leg of lamb with rice, pimientos, spices and garlic makes a hearty family meal. Serve, it with a crisp green salad and a well-chilled medium Graves.

1×6 lb. leg of lamb, boned

1 large garlic clove, halved U teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 oz. butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil small onions, finely chopped 4 lean bacon slices, rinds removed and chopped

10 oz. long-grain rice, washed, soaked in cold water for

30 minutes and drained

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon paprika

7 oz. canned pimientos, drained and chopped

15 fl. oz. chicken stock

Preheat the oven to moderate 350′ F (Gas Mark 4, 180CC).

Rub the lamb all over with the garlic halves and discard them. Then rub over 1 teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Roll the lamb up and tie it at 1-inch intervals with string. Set aside.

In a large, heavy flameproof casscrol heat the butter and oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the lamb and cook it, turning frequently with two large forks, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until it is well browned on all sides.

Cover the casserole, remove it from the heat and place it in the centre of the oven. Braise the meat for 40 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the oven.

Using two large forks, lift the meat out of the casserole and keep it hot.

Pour out all but 3 tablespoons of the cooking fat from the casserole and set the casserole over moderate heat. Add the onions and bacon and cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the rice and fry for 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in the remaining salt and pepper, nutmeg, paprika, pimientos and chicken stock and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring frequently.

Remove the casserole from the heat and place the lamb on top of the rice mixture. Cover the casserole and return it to the oven. Braise for a further hour, or until the juices run out faintly rosy when the meat is pierced with the point of a sharp knife, and the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.

Remove the casserole from the oven.

Using two large forks, lift the lamb out of the casserole and remove and discard the string.

Spread the rice mixture in the bottom of a large serving dish, place the lamb on top and serve immediately.

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