During my journey through South Australia I was joined by my friend and Le Bernardin Sommelier, Aldo Sohm. While I tried my hand at sheep herding, Aldo visited some of Australia's premier vineyards and wineries. Our closing dinner brought together the flavors of the region in a beautiful way and it inspired me to create this leg of lamb to enjoy with some of the wine we brought back.
Note: This recipe requires soaking dried cannellini beans overnight in water.
Sel d’Antibes is a special blend of bergamot grey salt and herbs that Eric blends and sells through La Boite. You can also simply use salt and pepper in its place.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Strain the beans from the soaking water, put into a large pot and cover with fresh water.
Add the bacon, carrot, onion, the 4 cloves of garlic that have been cut in half, and salt. Bring the beans up to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to low. Cook the beans for 45 minutes to an hour, until they are tender. More water may be added during the cooking process to keep the beans covered. Once cooked, remove from heat.
Place the leg of lamb onto a large cutting board. Make small incisions into the meat in even intervals all over the leg. Stuff the incisions with garlic and rosemary. Season the leg all over with sel d’antibes (or salt and pepper). Place the leg, presentation side up in a large roasting pan. Arrange the unpeeled garlic cloves around the leg of lamb. Pour 2 cups of water in the pan, put the lamb into the oven and cook for about an hour and a half until a meat thermometer reaches 145-165, depending on how well you want it cooked.
Once the lamb has reached desired doneness, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Once rested, move the lamb to a large cutting board. Slice the lamb into thin slices and arrange nicely on a large serving platter. Spoon the pan drippings over the sliced lamb to keep moist and garnish the platter with the roasted cloves of garlic from the bottom of the pan. Remove the carrot, onion and bacon from the beans, re-heat them if necessary, and pour the beans into a large serving bowl, sprinkle the beans with the vinegar.
Serve together family style.
2 lb. cannellini beans, soaked overnight in water
1, 4-ounce piece of slab bacon
1 large carrot, peeled and cut in half
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and cut in half
4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1, 4-5 lb. Australian leg of lamb, bone in, shank attached
2 heads garlic, peeled with the cloves cut in quarters
6 stalks rosemary, small sprigs picked
2 teaspoons Sel d’Antibes
3 heads of garlic, separated from the head, not peeled
½ teaspoon red wine vinegar