Martha Washington's Grand Leg Of Lamb

chef.camargo's picture

Jan. 10, 2012


Calf's sweetbreads 1 1/2 Pound (2 pairs)
Leg lamb 7 Pound , boned but not split, with shank meat cut off
Salt 1 1/2 Teaspoon
Freshly ground black pepper To Taste
Melted butter 4 Tablespoon
Butter 4 Tablespoon , cut into 1/2 inch bits
Butter 4 Tablespoon , softened
Anchovy paste 1 Tablespoon
Finely chopped fresh parsley 4 Tablespoon
Finely chopped capers 2 Teaspoon
Dried thyme 1/2 Teaspoon , crumbled
Finely grated lemon peel 1/4 Teaspoon (fresh)
Crumbled dried marjoram 1/4 Teaspoon
Soft fresh bread crumbs 1 Cup (16 tbs) (made from homemade type white bread, pulverized in a blender or finely shredded with a fork homemade type white Bread, pulverized in a blender or finely shredded with a fork)
Finely chopped onions 1 Cup (16 tbs)
Dry white wine 1/2 Cup (8 tbs)
Chicken stock 2 1/2 Cup (40 tbs) (fresh or canned)
Breakfast pork sausages 1 Pound (12 pieces)
Water 1/4 Cup (4 tbs)
Lamb kidneys 2 , peeled and trimmed of fat
Strained fresh lemon juice 2 Tablespoon
Ground white pepper 1/8 Teaspoon
Hard cooked egg yolks 4
Thin white bread slices 8 , cut into 3 inch rounds and fried in 4 tablespoons of butter (homemade type)
Capers 8
Flat anchovy fillets 16



1 Starting 6 hours or more ahead, soak the sweetbreads cold water for 3 hours, changing the water several times.

2 In a 4-quart enameled or stainless-steel pan, place the sweetbreads and pour in 2 quarts of fresh cold water.

3 Bring to a simmer slowly over moderate heat.

4 Blanch the sweetbreads by simmering them for 3 minutes.

5 With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the sweetbreads to a bowl of cold water to rest for 1 or 2 minutes.

6 Pat them dry with paper towels.

7 Gently pull off as much of the outside membrane as possible.

8 Cut the two lobes from the tube between each pair of sweetbreads with a small sharp knife, discarding the tubes.

9 On a large flat platter, put the sweetbreads.

10 Cover them with a towel and weight them with a casserole or skillet weighing about 5 pounds, this will flatten and remove excess moisture from the sweetbreads.

11 Refrigerate the sweetbreads for at least 2 hours.

12 Preheat the oven to 450°.


13 Season the lamb on all sides with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grindings of pepper.

14 To prepare the stuffing, in a bowl, combine the 4 tablespoons of melted butter and 1 tablespoon of anchovy paste and mix well.

15 Add 2 tablespoons of parsley, the chopped capers, thyme, lemon peel and marjoram.

16 Stir in the bread crumbs.

17 Close the opening at the shank end of the leg of lamb by sewing it with a large needle and heavy white thread.

18 Then fill the pocket in the lamb with the stuffing, and sew up the opening securely.

19 Tie the leg of lamb crosswise in 5 or 6 places and lengthwise 2 or 3 times to hold it in a neat cylindrical shape.

20 Set the lamb on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and roast it in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes.

21 Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.

22 Sprinkle the chopped onions around the lamb, and roast for another 15 minutes.

23 Pour the wine and 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock over the onions.

24 Continue roasting for about 1 hour longer, or until the lamb is cooked to your taste.

25 Half an hour or so before the lamb is ready to be served, prepare the garnishes: in a heavy 10-to 12-inch skillet, combine the pork sausages and 1/4 cup of water and bring to a boil over high heat.

26 Lower the heat, cover tightly and simmer for 5 minutes.

27 Then uncover the pan and, turning the sausages occasionally with a spatula, cook over moderate heat for about 5 minutes to brown them on all sides.

28 Drain the sausages on paper towels.

29 Transfer them to a heated plate and cover with foil.

30 Using a sharp knife, cut the sweetbreads crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

31 Cut the kidneys crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and then cut the slices into 1/4-inch-wide strips.

32 In a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of butter bits over moderate heat.

33 Add the sweetbreads and kidneys and, stirring frequently, fry for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the pieces are lightly browned.

34 Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and a few grindings of black pepper.

35 Correct the seasoning.

36 Remove the skillet from the heat and cover to keep the sweetbreads and kidneys warm.

37 Through a fine sieve, push the hard-cooked egg yolks with the back of a spoon.

38 Beat in the 4 tablespoons of softened butter.

39 Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper, and taste for seasoning.

40 Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a star tube and pipe an egg-yolk rosette onto the center of each bread round.

41 Set a caper on each rosette and arrange 2 anchovy fillets around it.

42 Set aside.

43 Transfer the roasted leg of lamb to a large heated platter.

44 For the anchovy sauce, set a fine sieve over a 1-quart measuring cup.

45 Strain the contents of the roasting pan through it, pressing down hard on the onions with the back of a spoon to extract all their juices.

46 In a small saucepan, pour the liquid.

47 Add enough chicken stock to make 2 cups in all.

48 Bring to a simmer over low heat.

49 In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks, flour and 1 tablespoon of anchovy paste with a wire whisk until smooth.

50 Put 2 or 3 tablespoons of simmering stock into the egg yolks and mix well.

51 Pour the yolks into the pan, whisking constantly, and cook over low heat until the sauce thickens lightly.

52 Do not let the sauce boil or the yolks will curdle.

53 Correct the seasoning and add 2 to 3 teaspoons of lemon juice.


54 Mound the sweetbreads and kidneys at both the ends and sides of the leg of lamb and sprinkle them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley.

55 Arrange the sausages and bread rounds attractively on the platter, and present the anchovy sauce in a bowl or sauceboat.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: Medium
Servings: 4