Time To Share An Amazing Holiday Feast!
If you are looking to bite into something different this holiday season – time to go provencal!
This is “Gigot D’Agneau” – and it’s my favorite holiday meal, thanks to the incredible Chef / Author Patricia Wells!
Making “Gigot D’Agneau”, inspired by Cookbook Author and Food Writer Patricia Wells!
Alex and I got the chance to cook with Patricia at her house in Provence – an adventure of a lifetime!
Yes, this is me stealing a bite of food under the watchful eye of Patricia Wells.
It was all part of a cooking adventure with the Author, who hosts cooking classes at her house in Provence, France.
It inspired me to make my family her classic roast lamb shank, which is baked on top of potatoes, onion and tomatoes so that the incredible juices from the lamb soak into the gratin!
Time For A Provencal Feast!
This is a great family feast that evokes the best of Provence! Thanks to Patricia Wells and all of her incredible cookbooks, you can travel to the south of France yourself!
Let make a roasted lamb shank with provencal vegetables! First, preheat your oven to 400.
Rub the bottom of your roasting pan with a split piece of garlic. I also lay down a dozen slivers of butter to help the potatoes carmelize…then slice your potatoes and lay them down as the base of your dish…
On top of the potato I spread sliced onion…instead of chopped, I like them spread out as rings, and then I add chopped garlic. The amount is up to you…but a head of garlic and one large onion worked for me…
Next, slice tomatoes over the top of the onion – I used three tomatoes total, and I cut them in a larger chunk as they will melt down a bit during cooking – and then I season the dish with a healthy amount of salt, pepper and fresh thyme…
I used a leg of lamb that was just under six pounds. I got mine bone-in, which I think helps the flavor of the meat…Put the lamb shank on an oven rack, which you put directly over the vegetables…season the lamb with salt, pepper and fresh rosemary…
I roasted the lamb for about an hour and fifteen minutes…the thicker part was medium rare and the smaller side of the shank was medium, so it worked well for everyone!
I removed the lamb to a cutting board and let it rest for fifteen minutes – then sliced it up for everyone to enjoy…
And here is what that beautiful potato-onion-tomato looked like underneath….
To honor Patricia Wells and her home in provence, we served the lamb with several provencal-inspired dishes:
First was a ratatouille, which I made in the style of Chef Thomas Keller…
I began by making a roasted red bell pepper sauce, which I spread on the bottom of a gratin dish….
Then I cut yellow squash, green zucchini and eggplant with a mandolin and stacked them on top like this:
I actually enjoy laying this dish out, with the vegetables like casino chips! And when it came out of the oven, it looked like this:
You can get the entire recipe for Thomas Keller’s Ratatouille dish by clicking here:
Now Comes The Cauliflower Gratin!
Instead of potatoes, we go a healthier route by substituting Cauliflower! Just boil cauliflower and then bake it with a mixture of gruyere cheese and half and half…
One last delicious touch before baking: before I put the cauliflower gratin in the oven, I grate fresh nutmeg over it…liberally….
And here is how it looked coming out of the oven 45 minutes later….
Finally, I made a dish of provencal carrots and garlic with basil….you sear the carrots in a pan with butter for ten minutes, then add sliced garlic and cook slowly – and fold fresh basil in….guests can top the dish if they want with slivered black olives at the table…
Time To Dig In!
Once plated, the different colors gave the meal a festive Easter feel…
We served a 2004 Grenache that was signed by the winemaker…we got this bottle when we toured the Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine region:
So now, a bit more about the inspiration for this dish, and how we got the signed bottle of wine:
Cooking With Patricia Wells!
Patricia and her husband Walter Wells own a home in Provence, right outside the small village of Vaison la Romaine…
The couple open up their house several weeks a year for cooking classes – one that my wife Alex and I were able to attend in 2009. We spent 5 days with Patricia, Walter and ten other participants, a terrific group of people who shared our passion for food and adventure.
Here we are with Patricia, posing in front of the Julia Child’s provencal stove – a personal gift to Patricia from Julia:
This was a cooking adventure of a lifetime, and it inspired me to cook with a provencal feel, like Gigot D’Agneau! Here is a look at our cooking adventure:
And since we were in Provence, we took time to explore the wine region as well!
Here is a look at our trip through the provencal wine region:
Time for a great meal and glass of wine!
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