Thursday, April 30, 2015

stuffed sheep's leg

Stuffed sheep's leg

Page 170 book 2 recipe # 69 To braise a stuffed leg of whether whole

Get a leg of the good sort described above and beat it with a bat until it separates from  the bone in the middle of it, then carefully draw out that bone which is the hollow bone, leaving the knee pad there. Along with the bone remove some of the flesh and beat that with an equivalent amount of pork fat, marbled prosciutto and garlic cloves, adding in pepper, cinnamon, beaten herbs and a few raisins and saffron. Turn the leg inside out and slash the inner flesh here and there, being careful not to cut through to the skin. Splash the flesh with rose vinegar and sprinkle on pepper, sugar and cinnamon.Then turn right side out again and stuff it with the mixture, sew it up with cord, and put it into a stewing pot which has beaten pork fat in it and enough meat broth to cover the leg; add in verjuice, common spices, and prunes and dried visciola cherries. Seal the post so that it cannot breath, and set it to cook over a low fire for two hours. When it is done, serve it hot with the cord removed and that broth over it.
If you want to spit -roast it,  when it is stuffed half-cook it by boiling, take it out, let it cool lard it with very small bits of pork fat, and mount it on a spit. Cook it as you do roasts. You can also cook it in an oven, after it is full of the same mixture used to stuff it when stewing it, putting in less broth. You can also put it raw on the spit.

What we did:
I purchased a leg of sheep (I asked for whether but the lady said lamb when I picked it up, so I am not sure which one I actually got) It was roughly 2 kg with the bone in.
I placed it in a large ziploc bag and  beat it with a "bat" (my french pin) for about 20 min. I could have beaten it  longer and next time I need to  pay closer attention to the ends. Much of the tissue did disconnect from the bone  but for speed we used a knife to cut it the rest of the way off the bone. It easily turned itself inside out while removing the bone.
Trim off piece that can not be stuffed , about 4 inches of the top, this is the piece you will grind up to use as stuffing. Do not throw away the bone, use it to make the stock.

Cut the "extra" meat into 1" pieces and slightly freeze to make it easier to mince (grind or use a food processor).
Turn the leg inside out, I sprinkled my leg with branntweinessig and rose water, then lightly sprinkled it with pepper, cinnamon and sugar.
For the stuffing I used what I had on hand: Next time use:
2 1/2 tsp pepper                    2 Tbsp
50 gm 8 herb mix (frozen but thawed) 150 gm
380 gm meat (cut from the top of the leg, skin removed)
240 gm fat   (beef fat)
1 tsp cinnamon            2 tsp
20 gm of raisins
1/2 head of garlic                    1 head
200 gm schwarzwald ham

Notice there is no salt, I boiled the bone in a pot of salted water and the ham provided more than enough salt for the dish. This made more than enough to stuff it well! So well I couldn't even think of sewing it shut and so just tied it with string to help keep the stuffing in.
I used my enameled cast iron dutch oven in the oven. But first heated it up and seared the outside of it on my stove, added the broth to half cover and covered and placed in my oven. I had pre heated it to 200c and forgot to turn it down, so there it cooked for 2 hrs undisturbed and then sat covered for 20 min - 1/2 hr before I sliced it. It was very tasty!!!

Notes and next time:
The taste was great! though next time we will boost the herbs, garlic and spices some :) The meat was just on the edge of dry but not quite there. I will reduce the temp and the cooking time down to about 170c for 1hr 30min - 1hr 45 min, sheep can have a little pink. I am looking forward to making this again!

Post event and "again" notes:

The upping of the spices was perfect for me but maybe scale back a little on the Garlic to 3/4 of a head. Depends on how large the heads are, how much you like garlic and how pungent they are.

The fat used should be equal to the "extra meat" that is cut off to be used to stuff the leg. You can even go a bit over though I wouldn't go too much.

Lower temperature and a shorter cook time did the trick and it was still tender and moist!

A bug hit many people talked about.

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