"Hard Times" Lamb Breast with Dill Stuffing

We didn't believe it either, but the lowly, overlooked breast of lamb cost us 39 cents a pound, as of January 1974, and turned out a meal as tasty as it was economical.

If lamb breast isn't on display, ask the butcher to fetch it from his meat locker, then tell him to carve a "pocket" suitable for holding stuffing. Be sure to trim as much fat as possible; this may take some time, but the dish is worth it. As Spencer Tracy said of Katherine Hepburn, "There's not much meat on her, but what's there is chercef"

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unseasoned croutons
  • ½ cup chicken stock (or 2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in water)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 scant teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 large breast of lamb (2 pounds) cut with pocket and trimmed of fat
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Method

Presoak a clay pot, top and bottom, in water for 15 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, soak the croutons in the chicken stock.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion until golden brown.

Add to the mixing bowl all the other ingredients, except the lamb, red wine and ½ teaspoon of the salt.

Mix well, then stuff the lamb pocket with the mixture and sew up the opening with unwaxed dental floss.

Rub the surface of the lamb with the remaining salt, then place in the presoaked pot.

Place the covered pot in a cold oven.

Set temperature at 480 degrees.

Cook for 65 to 75 minutes.

When done, pour off the fat and serve the stuffed lamb from the pot.

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