Pork-Stuffed Leg of Lamb and Lamby Cranberry Beans; Photo - Danielle Sucher

This post actually contains two recipes: Roasted Leg of Lamb Stuffed With Pork, Chestnuts, and Morels and Lamby Cranberry Beans with Itsy Bitsy Potatoes.

The great thing about buying bone-in leg of lamb is that you can butcher it yourself, and then use the bone to make lamb stock, which is precisely what we did here.

When cooking this meal, everywhere one would normally use water, we used lamb stock instead. Lamby bulgur. Lamby morels. Lamby cranberry beans and itsy bitsy potatoes. Our effort to avoid wastefulness made the whole meal richer, meatier, and more delicious.

Roasted Leg of Lamb Stuffed With Pork, Chestnuts, and Morels
For the marinade
2 lbs lamb leg (including bone)
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp bourbon (cooked until reduced in volume to 1 tbsp)
A sprinkle of nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the lamb stock
The bone from your leg of lamb
Whatever greens and such you have lying around
Whole black peppercorns
For the stuffing
1/2 lb ground pork
7 cooked chestnuts, chopped
1/4 oz dried morels, soaked in lamb stock to cover
1/4 C bulgur cooked like rice in 1/2 C lamb stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the sauce
The morel soaking liquid, strained
Whatever is left of the marinade
Drippings from the roasting leg
Flour to thicken
Sherry vinegar, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Prepare the marinade

Start the night before you plan on eating this meal.

Debone the lamb leg and set the bone aside. You'll be using it soon enough. Butterfly the lamb leg, then mix it with the other marinade ingredients and stick it in the fridge to marinate overnight.

Create the lamb stock

Put the lamb bone that you took out of the leg into a small pot. Throw in some whole black peppercorns and whatever green leafy things and other clean vegetable trimmings you may have around. We're secretly a Depression-era housewife, so we happened to have denuded corn cobs and turnip tops and greens in the freezer waiting around for just such an occasion. Add enough water to just cover the stuff in the pot. Bring to a simmer without boiling, and continue to simmer for as many hours as you can stand, until it tastes lamby enough for you.

Strain the stock and leave it in the fridge overnight. Skim off and discard the fat that has risen to the top the next day.

Make the filling

Reconstitute the morels by putting them in a small bowl with enough warm lamb stock to cover. Leave them alone for about half an hour. Remove them from the stock, rinse them, and cut them into thin slices. Strain the morel liquid and set it aside for now.

Cook the bulgur in lamb stock.

Mix all filling ingredients together.

Build and cook the roast

Preheat your oven to 375 F.

Take the lamb leg out of the marinade and lay it out flat on a baking sheet covered with two layers of aluminum foil. Cover it with a layer of filling. Roll it from the short end like a jelly roll, then tie it together with twine. Wrap entirely in one of the layers of aluminum foil.

Bake for about an hour and a half, or until done.

Create the sauce

Mix together the sauce ingredients in (you guessed it) a small saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens and smells lovely.

Serve with Lamby Cranberry Beans with Itsy Bitsy Potatoes (recipe below).

Lamby Cranberry Beans with Itsy Bitsy Potatoes
3/4 lb itsy bitsy potatoes
1 lb cranberry beans (in the pod)
Lamb stock
1 bay leaf
1 twig fresh rosemary
1 big shallot, minced
1 black cardamom pod
A sprinkle of cayenne
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Shell the cranberry beans and discard the pods.

Throw all ingredients (except for the potatoes) together in a small heavy-bottomed pot. Add enough lamb stock to cover the contents of the pot by about 1". Simmer for about 20-25 minutes, then stir in the potatoes. Continue simmering for another 20-25 minutes, or until tender and done.