This is a dish best prepared in the summer, as soon as possible after the garlic harvest. It is important that the Provençal garlic is fat, juicy and mild. But it is a beautiful way to cook what I regard as a British meat; Welsh or Dartmoor lamb is unrivalled in France. In some ways this would be my favourite dish to cook for French friends in the south. I’ve cooked the dish in England in July with garlic I’ve brought back from Uzès but now I plan to prepare it in France for my friends there.
I shall hurry south carrying a magnificent leg of Devon spring lamb maturing nicely in the cool box. As soon as I arrive I shall buy a plait of the new garlic and will set about preparing what will be a veritable feast. Later that evening everyone will arrive, the
Make small slits all over the lamb and push the slivered bacon and garlic into them.
Melt the butter in a large cast-iron casserole and turn the lamb over in it until lightly coloured. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and stock to the casserole with the bouquet garni and the onion. Cover and cook very gently over low heat on the hob for 2–3 hours or cook in a slow oven (Mark 3, 160°C, 325°F) for 2–3 hours.
Half-way through the cooking time, bring
When the meat is cooked and beautifully tender transfer to a hot serving dish or carving plate. Skim off surplus fat from the casserole and discard the bouquet garni and onion. Press the remaining liquor and garlic through a sieve into a pan and add the tomatoes. Bring the sauce to the boil, check for seasoning and serve with the lamb.
© 1987 Geraldene Holt. All rights reserved.