LAMB WITH QUINCES
• juice of 1 lemon
• 12 black peppercorns
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 2/3 cup plain yogurt
• 1 boneless leg of lamb or lamb shoulder, 4½ pounds
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 carrot, chopped
• 1 leek, chopped and rinsed well
• 1 head garlic, unpeeled
• 6 quinces, cut into small pieces
• 1¼ cups beef or veal stock
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 tablespoon sugar
The night before you are planning to serve, combine the lemon juice peppercorns, mustard and yogurt in a bowl. Rub this mixture all over the lamb, put the meat on a plate, and let marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and scrape off the marinade.
Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large pan. Add the lamb and cook over medium heat, turning frequently, for 8-10 minutes, until evenly browned all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the onion, carrot, leek garlic head, and one of the quinces to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Pour in cup of the stock add the bay leaf, season with salt, and return the lamb to the pan. Cover and simmer gently for 3 hours until the lamb is tender.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a skillet. Add the remaining quinces and cook over low heat stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add the remaining stock and the sugar and cook, turning the quinces once, for about 10 minutes, until softened.
Remove the lamb from the pan, carve into slices, and put on a warm serving dish. Place the quinces all around it.
Remove and discard the bay leaf from the sauce and pass the sauce through a food mill or process in a food processor or blender. Season with salt if necessary.
Note: This dish can be made with other fruit such as pears, peaches. dried peaches or dried apricots.