Roast Leg of Lamb in the Style of Bordeaux

Gigot à la Bordelaise

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Cooking of South West France

By Paula Wolfert

Published 1987

  • About

The flavor of shallots and vinegar makes this roast leg of lamb delicious. Artichokes and Potatoes au Gratin goes particularly well with the lamb.


  • 1 whole leg of lamb (about pounds)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thin slivers
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons rendered goose or duck fat
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or French peanut oil
  • ¾ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • ¾ cup unsalted chicken stock (storebought or homemade)


    1. Trim off excess fat and tough outer skin from the lamb, leaving a thin layer of fat. Make about 10 incisions near the leg bone and insert garlic slivers. Rub the meat with the salt and pepper, then coat with the fat and oil. Massage into the meat. Refrigerate, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 2 to 3 hours before roasting.
    2. About 2 hours before serving, preheat the oven to 500°F. Place the lamb on a rack in a large roasting pan. Set the pan in the top third of the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the lamb rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
    3. Meanwhile, in a small nonreactive saucepan, combine the vinegar and shallots; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced to⅓ cup, about 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the shallots and vinegar separately.
    4. Pour the vinegar and ½ cup water into the roasting pan. Return the lamb and roast, basting with the pan juices every 5 minutes, for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 135° to 140°F for medium-rare. (Total roasting time should be about 10 minutes to the pound.)
    5. Remove the lamb to a carving board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the shallot sauce: Add the stock and reserved shallots to the drippings in the roasting pan and bring to a boil on top of the stove, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Slice the lamb and serve with the shallot sauce.