July 14 is the French National Day, also called Bastille Day. We are in Finland at the moment, far away from Paris celebrations, but my parents decided to create a special meal for their French son-in-law.
Two days before the big day we begun defrosting a lamb leg, bought at the local farm. On the eve we placed the leg in the largest bowl we found at the summer house and covered it with olive oil. We then added herbes de Provence (mixture of dried herbs), fresh rosemary, thyme stems and black pepper, with only a little bit of salt. Next we cut plenty of garlic into small pieces and put them on the lamb, not forgetting to place (unpeeled) garlic cloves aside in the bowl.In the end, we added a cup of water, covered the leg with aluminum foil and put it in oven. At the summer house we have a traditional Finnish oven called leivinuuni, which is specifically made for cooking: excellent for making crunchy pizza, bread, overnight porridge, meats, etc. The moment we started cooking the lamb leg, it was around 110C inside the oven.The next morning I moistened the leg with juice that had come out of the lamb. The dish was looking good. I repeated this a few times during the day. In the evening, after approximately 24 hours, we removed the leg from the oven. The temperature had decreased to 50C. My Mom had prepared a green salad with home-grown tomatoes, cucumber, olives, feta cheese, onion and basil leaves. My husband served red wine (AOC Côtes du Luberon). The lamb leg was excellent: juicy, not greasy, not dry; just perfect. The garlic cloves melted in the mouth. France was properly honored!
PS I did not have time to do it yesterday, but today I prepared some eggplants (with olive oil and herbs), and we finished the lamb with oven-baked eggplants.