The Plagiarist in the Kitchen

By Jonathan Meades

The first and only cookbook by ‘the best amateur chef in the world’

Monday, 6 July 2015

Gigot de la Clinique

The best known recipe in the Alice B Toklas Cook Book is for hashish fudge. She got the recipe from Brion Gysin who had got it in Tangier where it would have been known as mahjoun. It is of Berber origin. The problem with it is the problem of cannabis in any form - it turns the most delightful people into dull obsessives or insensate, giggling bores or borderline psychotics. Protracted exposure to the wretched stuff causes brain damage. Avoid. Stick to acid and opium.

The best recipe in the book is for a doubly marinated leg of lamb. It should serve 6 or maybe 8 people. This is from memory, my copy went missing years ago and I didn't bother to replace it.

The first marinade is conventional enough:

1 or 2 bottles decent red wine

Olive oil

Bay leaves

Juniper berries


Caraway seeds

A few cloves

This should cover the leg.

The second marinade is internal. You need a capacious syringe. A veterinary one is just the job. Fill it with a mixture of armagnac or cognac and orange juice - this last needs to be thorougly filtered so that it doesn't block the needle. Shoot up the leg with about a wine glassful of the mixture every day for ten days.

Salt the leg and roast for 60-80 mins at 200c.

Reduce the marinade.

The flavour is extraordinary. Gamey, savoury. It is habitually claimed to be akin to venison. Yet I have no taste for venison whilst I adore this meat's scented delicacy.

Serve it with a potato puree.

In lieu of armagnac or cognac you could use mirabelle or kirsch or eau de vie de pomme or calvados or whisky or sake...

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