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van Gogh, Vincent
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Seven-Hour Lamb Ravoux Style, with
Sautéed Potatoes and Smoked Slab Bacon



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Interieur Auberge Ravoux
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La Belle Cuisine


Seven-Hour Lamb Ravoux Style, with
Sautéed Potatoes and Smoked Slab Bacon
(Gigot d’Agneau Ravoux dit ‘de sept heures’,
Pommes de Terre Sautées au Lard)

Van Gogh's Table at the Auberge Ravoux:
Recipes From the Artist's Last Home
and Paintings of Cafe Life

Copyright © 2001 by Dominique-Charles Janssens (Artisan)
Alexandra Leaf, Fred Leeman


“This is a three-step recipe that includes making lamb stock a day ahead,
marinating the leg of lamb for twenty-four hours, and then slow-cooking it
in the oven. This old-fashioned, melt-in-your-mouth stew is a real treat when
served with the oven-crisped potato and bacon dish. The nineteenth-century
version of this dish, known as ‘gigot de sept heures’, was actually cooked at
a gentle temperature for seven hours, or until the lamb was tender enough
to be eaten with a spoon. At the Auberge Ravoux, the cooking time has
been reduced to three hours.”

Serves 6

Lamb Stock
3 pounds lamb bones and meat scraps
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
Several leafy sprigs fresh thyme
Several leafy sprigs parsley

Marinated Lamb
Half leg of lamb (about 3 pounds)
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 head garlic, cut crosswise in half
3 leafy sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon mixed peppercorns
3 bottles (750 ml each) dry white
table wine, approximately
3 tablespoons peanut oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
To prepare the lamb stock, spread the lamb bones and meat scraps in a
lightly oiled baking pan large enough to hold the bones in a single layer.
Roast for 1 1/2 hours, turning the bones and scraps 2 or 3 times for
even browning.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot and brown the
carrot, celery, and onion. Set aside until needed.
Transfer the browned bones and scraps to the vegetables in the pot.
Increase the heat to high and pour in the water. Using a wooden spoon,
scrape up any caramelized bits that are stuck to the bottom or sides of
the pan. Pour the liquid into the pot and add enough water to cover the
bones. Add the bay leaves, thyme, and parsley. Bring the stock to a boil,
then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 3 1/2 hours.
Strain the stock and set aside 1 quart for the lamb. Freeze the leftover
broth in quart-size freezer containers for up to several months.
Makes about 3 1/2 quarts.

Meanwhile, put the lamb in a large [nonreactive] container or pot. Add
the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns;
pour in enough wine to cover completely. With your hands, stir to mix
the ingredients, making sure the lamb is completely submerged in the
wine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Remove the lamb from the container. Pour the vegetable mixture through
a colander set in a bowl to catch the liquid. Reserve the wine and the vegetables in separate containers.
In a skillet large enough to hold the lamb, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat. When it is quite hot, add the leg of lamb and brown evenly on all sides, turning the meat with tongs. Once the meat is well browned, transfer
it to a large ovenproof pot.
Add the reserved onion, carrot, and celery to the same skillet (discard remaining ingredients). Cook, stirring, over medium heat, until the vege-
tables are lightly browned. Transfer them to the meat in the pot. Add the reserved wine (from the marinade) along with the reserved lamb stock.
Bring the mixture to a boil; cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Bake
for 3 hours, or until very tender, then remove from the oven and allow
to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Set the lamb on a carving board and slice into 3/4- to 1-inch-thick pieces. Place the meat slices in a saucepan and transfer enough of the cooking
juices to fully cover the lamb. Simmer over a low heat, 20 to 30 minutes.
To serve, spoon some of the cooking juices over the lamb and accompany with the Sautéed Potatoes with Smoked Slab Bacon (below).

Sautéed Potatoes with Smoked Slab Bacon
(Pommes de Terre Sautées au Lard)

“Potatoes and ham go together just like bacon and eggs, the salty, smoky
pork contributing flavor to an otherwise bland food. These potatoes are
first pan-fried, then finished in a hot oven, where they become golden
brown and slightly crunchy.”

Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds all-purpose potatoes,
scrubbed (see Note)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 to 1 1/2 ounces slab bacon or
pancetta, cut into small dice
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
Coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the potatoes in the basket of a vegetable steamer. Steam until a
sharp paring knife easily enters the flesh, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes
and cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot,
add the potatoes. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the potatoes are
golden brown. Transfer to an oven-proof dish and bake for 20 to 30
minutes. This last step renders the potatoes crunchy on the outside
and soft on the inside.
A few minutes before the potatoes are ready, sauté the bacon (or pancetta) over medium-high heat until golden. When the potatoes are ready, add the bacon, sprinkle with the chives and coarse salt; transfer to a serving dish
or onto individual plates.

Note: If using larger potatoes, such as Red Bliss or Yukon Gold,
halve or quarter the slices.

The Auberge Ravoux reopened on March 11, 2003, in Auvers-sur-Oise,
France, the small village where Vincent van Gogh took his life in 1890.

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