Guest Post: John – Gigot D’Agneau

I’m jealous! Today we have a guest post from John who blogs at JohnRieber where he tells us of a great opportunity he had to learn directly from an internationally known chef. Yup. I’m jealous. Check out John’s blog and his post below…

John Rieber-and-Patricia Wells

Making “Gigot D’Agneau”, inspired by Cookbook Author and Food Writer Patricia Wells!

Yes, that is me stealing a bite of food under the watchful eye of Patricia Wells. It was all part of a cooking adventure with the Author, who hosts cooking classes at her house in Provence, France.

It inspired me to make my family her classic roast lamb shank, which is baked on top of potatoes, onion and tomatoes so that the incredible juices from the lamb soak into the gratin!

First, preheat your oven to 400.

Rub the bottom of your roasting pan with a split piece of garlic. I also lay down a dozen slivers of butter to help the potatoes carmelize…then slice your potatoes and lay them down as the base of your dish…

potato base

On top of the potato I spread sliced onion…instead of chopped, I like them spread out as rings, and then I add chopped garlic. The amount is up to you…but a head of garlic and one large onion worked for me…

potato and onion

Next, slice tomatoes over the top of the onion – I used three tomatoes total, and I cut them in a larger chunk as they will melt down a bit during cooking – and then I season the dish with a healthy amount of salt, pepper and fresh thyme…

tomato and seasoning

I used a leg of lamb that was just under six pounds. I got mine bone-in, which I think helps the flavor of the meat…Put the lamb shank on an oven rack, which you put directly over the vegetables…season the lamb with salt, pepper and fresh rosemary…

seasoned lamb on top

I roasted the lamb for about an hour and fifteen minutes…the thicker part was medium rare and the smaller side of the shank was medium, so it worked well for everyone!

finished lamb

I removed the lamb to a cutting board and let it rest for fifteen minutes – then sliced it up for everyone to enjoy…

slicing the lamb

And here is what that beautiful potato-onion-tomato looked like underneath….

baked gratin underneath

To honor Patricia Wells and her home in provence, we served the lamb with several provencal-inspired dishes:

First was a ratatouille, which I made in the style of Chef Thomas Keller…


I also boiled cauliflower and then baked it with Gruyère cheese and half and half…..

Baked Cauliflower gratin

Finally, a cooked a dish of Provencal carrots and garlic with basil….which guests can top with slivered black olives at the table…

provencal carrot dish

Once plated, the different colors gave the meal a festive feel…

Gigot meal - Featured Size

So now, a bit more about the inspiration for this dish:

Patricia and her husband Walter Wells own a home in Provence, right outside the small village of Vaison la Romaine…


The couple open up their house several weeks a year for cooking classes – one that my wife Alex and I were able to attend in 2009. We spent 5 days with Patricia, Walter and ten other participants, a terrific group of people who shared our passion for food and adventure.

Here we are with Patricia, posing in front of the Julia Child’s Provencal stove – a personal gift to Patricia from Julia:

John Rieber Alex Duda Patricia Wells

This was a cooking adventure of a lifetime, and it inspired me to cook with a Provencal feel, like Gigot D’Agneau!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: French, Guest, Lamb, Low Carb, Main Dish 3, Recipes

Author:The Ranting Chef

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One Comment on “Guest Post: John – Gigot D’Agneau”

  1. January 23, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    We have nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award because we LOVE your blog!! Check out the details here:


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