Cordero con Cognac

Roast Lamb with Cognac

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • 6

    Raciones

Appears in

MoVida Rustica

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2009

  • About

I ONCE MET A GALICIAN LADY WHO SHARED WITH ME HER RECIPE FOR LAMB. HER OWN LAMB — LAMBS SHE RAISED WITH OTHER ANIMALS ON HER FARM IN THE HILLS ABOVE THE COAST. HER ANIMALS WERE A COMFORT AS HER FAMILY HAD LEFT THE VILLAGE TO WORK IN OTHER CITIES AROUND SPAIN. WHEN THEY RETURNED AT EASTER SHE WOULD ROAST THEM A LAMB. I COULD TELL IT WAS A LITTLE TRAUMATIC FOR HER TO DISPATCH HER BABY LAMBS TO CELEBRATE THE RETURN OF HER PRODIGAL FAMILY. NONETHELESS, SHE NEVER BAULKED FROM THE TASK. SHE ONLY SPOKE GALICIAN AND FOR ME IT WAS A BIT LIKE A LONDONER TRYING TO UNDERSTAND AN OLD PERSON FROM ABERDEEN WHO ONLY SPOKE DORIC SCOTS. EXCUSE MY BRUTAL TONGUE,’ IS THE DIRECT TRANSLATION. I COOK MY LAMB WITH COGNAC, AND A FEW HERBS, AND THAT’S ABOUT IT.’ HER RECIPE PROVED VERY GOOD.

Ingredients

  • 4 kg (9 lb) lamb forequarter
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 2 brown onions, thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) white wine
  • 300 ml (10½ fl oz) Cognac
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method

Using a sharp pointed knife, separate the lamb leg from the shoulder, dividing the lamb into two pieces. Place them both in a large bowl. Break the garlic bulb into cloves and bruise the cloves with the flat side of a large knife. Add to the lamb with the onion, thyme, wine and Cognac and combine well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7).

Remove the onion slices and garlic cloves from the marinade, spread them over the base of a large roasting tin and pour in the marinating liquid. Place the lamb portions over the onion slices, then drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and black pepper.

Place the roasting tin on the middle rack of the oven and roast for 30 minutes, without opening the oven door. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (315°F/Gas 2–3), baste the lamb well with the pan juices and roast for another 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes or so, and adding a little water as needed to stop the base of the roasting tin drying out. The lamb should be done (the meat will come away from the bone when pressed), but depending on the age and breed it may require extra cooking.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Serve with seasonal vegetables and perhaps a glass of mencia, a light Spanish red wine popular in Galicia.