Greek Breast of Lamb

Ingredients

  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 medium mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Juice and pulp of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup rice, half-cooked
  • 1 breast of lamb (about 2 pounds), cut with pocket and trimmed of fat
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup drained canned tomatoes (preferably Italian plum tomatoes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot, approximately

Method

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

Saute the celery, mushrooms, and onion in the butter and olive oil. Add the garlic, salt, mint, oregano, pepper and lemon juice.

Cook the rice for half the time required by the directions on the package, then combine, cooking liquid and all, with the celery-mushroom mixture.

Mix well, then stuff this mixture into the pocket of the lamb's breast, and sew up the opening with unwaxed dental floss.

Rub surface of the lamb with the coarse salt.

Place the lamb in the presoaked pot, and add the canned tomatoes, bay leaves and white wine.

Place the covered pot in a cold oven.

Set the temperature at 480 degrees.

Cook for 65 to 75 minutes.

When done, remove the pot from the oven and pour off the sauce into a saucepan. Skim or siphon off all fat from the sauce, heat and thicken with the arrowroot. If necessary, remove the bay leaves before serving.

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