The only thing that is more enjoyable than well cooked meat is the meat being wrapped in bacon. Well because…..bacon makes everything better! You can enjoy this preparation of bacon wrapped leg of lamb ideally during cherry season when fresh cherries are available. Frozen cherries for the sauce can be used as an alternative if fresh cherries are not available but do not use any preserved cherries or cherries in syrup. The sour cherry sauce adds an acidic note to compliment the tenderness of the lamb and the crispiness of the bacon. For this recipe I used hickory smoked uncured bacon . The smokiness of the bacon adds an extra dimension of flavor however if you cannot get smoked bacon regular uncured bacon can be used as an alternative. To make a bacon wrapped leg of lamb you would require a butterflied leg of lamb. Ask your butcher to prepare it for you in advance. However for those of you who are inquisitive you can try your hand at it, instructions on how to butterfly a leg of lamb can be found here.
- 3/4 lb butterflied leg of lamb
- 2 Sprigs of mint leaves
- 2 tablespoon goat cheese
- 2 shallots
- 1 cup of pitted sour cherries
- 3 strips of uncured bacon
- 4 cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 cup of red wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup roasted pistachios
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
- 3 teaspoons of sugar
1. Heat oil in a pan and add the shallots. Add a pinch of salt and sugar and cook until they caramelize.
2. Stuff the leg of lamb with the caramelized onion, mint leaves and goat cheese and roll it up. Take a tin foil , season it with salt and pepper and add a little oil. Place the strips of bacon and the stuffed leg of lamb over it. Roll up the tin foil like a burrito and tighten the ends .
3. Poach the wrapped leg of lamb with the tin foil in water for 45 minutes. Take it out of the water and chill it in the refrigerator for 40 minutes. The bacon and lamb are now set into a nice roll.
4. Heat a pan with oil.Roll the bacon wrapped lamb in oil till the bacon is crispy. Remove from the pan and let it rest. Do not discard any bacon drippings.
5. In the same pan as above add the red wine to deglaze the pan . Add cloves, cardamom, bay leaf and the sour cherries along with the chicken stock. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar to the pan and let it simmer for about ten minutes.
6. Cut the bacon wrapped lamb at an angle to display the stuffing and pour the sour cherry sauce on top as shown in the pic. Garnish with crushed pistachios.