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Who would have thought of pot-roasting a whole leg of lamb with loads of garlic, tomatoes, olives and lots of wine? Lulu Peyraud of Domaine Tempier Vineyardin Bandol, a small town near Marseilles, is famous for this dish and justifiably so. The lamb literally melts in your mouth. Serve with roasted potatoes, tender young green beans, and a big gutsy red wine.
Serves 6 to 8
Note: This is a great dish to make for a party. You can cook the lamb in the morning and just reheat and slice when your guests arrive!
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 fl oz/45ml) extra-virgin olive oil1 whole leg of lamb, 51/2 to 6 pounds (2.5 to 2.7kg), bone-inSalt and freshly ground black pepper1 large yellow onion, chopped1 cup (8 oz/240g) peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned24 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed5 sprigs of fresh thyme1 cup (8 fl oz/240ml) dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc1 cup (6 oz/180g) imported black olives, such as Niçoise or kalamata
In a large heavy pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Add the lamb to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, about 30 minutes. Add the onions and, stirring occasionally, cook the onions until golden, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, and 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60ml) of the wine, cover and cook, turning the lamb occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Add another 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60ml) wine and continue to cook for 30 minutes. Add the olives and another 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60ml) wine and continue to cook, turning the lamb occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Repeat 1 more time.
After 2 hours total cooking time, remove the lamb from the pot, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme.
To serve, slice the lamb and place on a platter. Spoon the garlic and sauce over the lamb. Serve immediately, passing the remaining sauce separately.
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