You may think that life here is all about fancy meals at restaurants. Well, it’s true that we did have a lovely lunch on Wednesday at La Petite Tonnelle in Beynac, with Florida friends Emily and Frank. (For a full review of the restaurant, and why you should go there, see my post on August 30, 2010.) And on this Easter Sunday, it’s going to be lunch at Le Petit Paris in Daglan. But we do eat at home too.
Which brings me to roast leg of lamb, which we enjoyed last Sunday at home. My preferred method of roasting is to first coat the lamb in Dijon mustard, and then sprinkle that with a mixture of (gluten-free) breadcrumbs and Herbes de Provence, plus salt and pepper. Then I pour a good amount of decent red wine in the bottom of the roasting pan, and place it in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (about 350 F). I roast it for roughly 30 minutes per half-kilogram, and it comes out nice and brown but juicy inside:
You might expect that in this country of wonderful food, we use French lamb. But in fact, we haven’t had the best of luck with it. We’ve certainly had lovely lamb dishes in various restaurants here, but for some reason the lamb seems to be fairly tough when we cook it at home. And so the leg of lamb we use is frozen — from New Zealand.
Like supermarkets in North America, French supermarkets such as Intermarché and Carrefour and Casino have large frozen food sections. But we’ve also discovered a nice specialty shop that’s good to know about if you’re planning on a visit. It’s called Gel 2000, and it’s located in a strip mall just on the way into Sarlat (more or less across the road from the Casino supermarket). Here it is:
To me, it seems amazing, because it sells only frozen foods — and just about any food you can imagine. Meat, fish, seafood, wild game (boar, venison). Cakes, ice cream, elaborate desserts, croissants, rolls, breads. Vegetables of every description. You name it.
Here’s the inside of the store:
British readers will know the Iceland supermarket chain, which started off selling only frozen foods, but has (I believe) expanded into a fuller range of foods, including fresh. And I know there are specialty frozen-food stores in North America, that sell only frozen meat, or only seasonal foods. But I’m not aware of other stores like Gel 2000. It’s worth visiting on your next visit to the GDA (Greater Daglan Area).