"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Agneau de Calvary – Watson’s Good Friday lamb recipe

by Julie on April 22, 2011

in Holiday Hell, Dinner, Meat!


To mark Good Friday, I present to you a recipe based on Julia Child’s roast lamb. It comes directly from my friend, the writer Bruce Watson, a well-known subversive. He wrote it. He conceived of it. He’s actually made it. I am only the messenger.

Please send all death threats in the name of Christ right to him.

The name of this delectable but highly blasphemous recipe?  Agneau de Calvary.

How could I not add this to the Bad Home Cooking canon?

Here it is: Much too late to make for Good Friday, so maybe I won’t go straight to Hell….

In a food processor or blender, pulse until slightly chunky:
1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar (sour wine)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves

Pour into Ziplock bag or roasting bag.  Put in:

6-pound leg of lamb (bone in)

Marinate for a few hours or overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wipe down the leg of lamb with paper towels (checking, of course, to see if it leaves an imprint).

Scourge the leg of lamb, repeatedly stabbing it in the meaty portion with a thin-bladed knife (a fairly-firm fillet knife works best).  In each puncture, insert one peeled garlic clove with the root end cut off.

Rub with kosher salt, taking care to work it into the wounds.  Anoint liberally with extra virgin olive oil.

During the preparation period, if you can drop it three times, so much the better.

Place on roasting rack in roasting pan and put on middle rack in oven.  Roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower heat to 400 degrees and roast for an hour or so, until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.  (alternately, follow Julia Child’s instructions).  Remove from oven, allow to rest for about 10 minutes, and carve.

Using a sprig of rosemary, fashion a crown of thorns and serve.

The drippings from the lamb can be used to make an au jus gravy.

Doesn’t that sound good enough to martyr yourself for?

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