This is an (somewhat) Irish take on a classic French braise. The core of the recipe is Julia’s ‘gigot de pre-sale braise’ (mastering vol 1 pg. 338 ). The modifications, though original, are quite modest so I wouldn’t really call this an original recipe per se.
Gigot braisé a la Malarkey
4-6 pound boned lamb leg
Two sweet onions
2 cups chardonnay
2-4 cups corned beef stock
2 bulbs garlic
Generous sprig rosemary
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
On burner (roughly 10 minutes): In cast iron braising pot brown the leg evenly in olive oil, or rendered pork fat for tradition, roughly 2 min per side. Set aside the leg and brown onions and garlic in remaining fats.
Stuff the lamb leg with the rosemary and half the garlic, tie off or leave loose for a rustic presentation. Drain extraneous fat from pot, return onions, remaining garlic, and lamb, fat side up, to the pot. Deglaze pot with chardonnay, allow to come to a boil, add the corned beef stock to cover 2/3 of the lamb. When this is simmering pour the brown sugar and ginger over the top fat of the lamb. Give the sugar a minute to start absorbing the liquids and dust with orange zest.
In oven (roughly 3 – 5 hours depening on size of roast): Transfer to 350ºF oven uncovered for 40 minutes per pound. Remove roast to a resting pan for 2-3 minutes. Remove vegetables with slotted spoon to a serving platter. Transfer roast to serving platter, strain jus from braising pot into small serving bowls.
The sugar crust is very easy if one resists the temptation to ‘adjust’ the roast: laissez faire!The bowls for jus and a rustic bread work well with the unstrung rustic presentation; for a more genteel presentation return the platter to a warming oven and reduce the jus a bit and thicken it with a touch of flour (a béchamel brought up with the jus would be too thin for this lamb though).