My Easter Feast! Gigot D’Agneau – Roast Lamb! A Potato Cake! Ratatouille Too! Here Are The Recipes!

Time For Our Annual Easter Feast!

This has become an annual tradition: a roasted leg of lamb provencal-style, thanks to the incredible Chef/Author Patricia Wells!

My annual Easter tradition got its start in France, because it’s a provencal feast that I have made in years past, and here are the pictures to prove it!

Patricia Wells cooking classes

Making “Gigot D’Agneau”, inspired by Cookbook Author and Food Writer Patricia Wells!

This tradition started when 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.

John Rieber and patricia

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!

provencal easter 2017 best lamb recipe


First Up: “Gigot D’Agneau”

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…

best provencal recipes

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…

best potato recipes

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…

provencal potato recipes

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…

gigot d'agneau recipe

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!

provencal lamb recipe
provencal lamb recipe

I removed the lamb to a cutting board and let it rest for fifteen minutes – and here is what that beautiful potato-onion-tomato looked like underneath….

baked provencal gratin recipe

As good as this is, I also am making the legendary Chez L’Ami Louis Potato Cake from Paris.

Patricia Wells has the entire recipe, but here’s a primer: you slice potatoes and cook them in a frying pan with butter or oil:

After pan cooking them for twenty minutes, you press them tightly down then bake them in that same pan for 25 minutes, and – using shot pad of course, you take it out of the oven and flip it onto the serving dish – and you get this:

Add raw chopped garlic and parsley and you are ready to go! But what about a side dish? How about this?

Chef Thomas Keller’s Ratatouille!

Yes, the legendary French Laundry Chef also created a ratatouille recipe for the animated film, and I make as well!

I begin by making a roasted red bell pepper sauce, which I spread on the bottom of a gratin dish….

Thomas Keller ratatouille recipe

Then I cut yellow squash, green zucchini and eggplant with a mandolin and make a circular pattern like this:

rataouille instructions

I actually enjoy laying this dish out, with the vegetables like casino chips! And when it comes out of the oven, it looks like this:

Thomas Keller Ratatouille

You can get the entire recipe for Thomas Keller’s Ratatouille dish by clicking here:


http://atomic-temporary-30348597.wpcomstaging.com/2013/06/29/ratatouille-chef-thomas-kellers-recipe-for-animated-food-magic/

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…

provencal carrot recipe

Cooking With Patricia Wells!

As I said, these recipes come from Patricia Wells.

Patricia and her husband Walter Wells own a home in Provence, right outside the small village of Vaison la Romaine…

best french cooking schools

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.

Touring France and Provence
Patricia Wells cooking classes

Here we are with Patricia, posing in front of the Julia Child’s provencal stove – a personal gift to Patricia from Julia:

john alex patricia julia's stove

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!

Touring Franceand Provence

Here is a look at our trip through the provencal wine region: which offers many incredible places to visit and pictures to take!

You can see all of these places and more by clicking on my story here!

Of course, you’ll also want to make that potato pie – and you should! It’s delicious and pretty easy – plus here’s a look at the famous Paris restaurant that serves it every night!

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Categories: Art, Books / Media, cookbooks, Exotic Travel, Food, food blog, Food Review, Memoirs, Recipes, Restaurants, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized, Wacky Food, wine

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18 replies

  1. It looks so good! I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen lately — I’ve found out that it helps me battle stress!.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember this beautiful lamb dish and those scrumptious potatoes it was lovely to read the post again and now I want to eat it…Delicious food 🙂 x

    Like

  3. I remember your wonderful post about cooking with Patricia Wells. Thank you for sharing this fabulous Easter lamb dinner. Yum!

    Like

  4. This looks so delicious, John. Roast lamb is a favourite in my house too. We do roasted potatoes and traditional English vegetables. This year for Easter Sunday we are having cold beef and gammon with salads. My mother’s choice this year. I am making a Simnel cake.

    Like

  5. I remember this annual post of yours. The recipe looks marvelous. You have inspired me! I’d like to try the vegetables…

    Like

  6. I’ve never cooked lamb, but love it as a special treat and yours looks great, as does all of it

    Like

  7. I always enjoy your ‘Lamb’ post, John. This Easter weekend, Julie’s oldest son is coming to dinner with his girlfriend. Julie is cooking, (for a change) and we are having roast leg of lamb with all the usual British accompaniments.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Like

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