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String-Roasted Leg of Lamb (VIDEO)

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How to roast a leg of lamb using only a piece of string. Watch me do it at the St-Luc mills in Switzerland.

Last week end I was in Val d'Anniviers, Switzerland, where we filmed various scenes and I was able to snatch away 5 minutes of footage to show you what I am up to now. No comments but a message from beyond the grave for those who tought that I was dead.

The food porn comes after 3 minutes into the film.
If you can't see the video above, click on String-Roasted Leg of Lamb. The high-definition version is available on Vimeo when you click above.

Click to Zoom


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External Comments

« a most delightful and simple 'gastropornographic' titillation» Andrew 24/01/2010

Copyright FXcuisine 2024 - all rights reserved.
If you do this recipe at home please let me know how it worked for you by submitting a comment or send me a picture if you can. Thanks!


  • #1
  • Comment by GaB
Good to know you're well!
  • FX's answer→ Indeed I am!

  • #3
  • Comment by Felix
What a pleasant surprise it is to see you back!
  • FX's answer→ Thank you!

I was starting to worry. No more cuisine? :P Good you have you back >:D<
  • FX's answer→ Doesn't cooking with an open hearth count as cuisine?

  • #7
  • Comment by Felix
OK, now I must know: Who composed the piano piece? It sounds like Beethoven, maybe the Diabelli Variations, but I could be wrong and very likely am.
  • FX's answer→ Felix, this is by an Austrian gentleman who passed on a couple years ago...

  • #9
  • Comment by Derek
the spinning lamb is rather hypnotizing. are you working for a network now?
  • FX's answer→ Yes, quite captivating it is! I'm working for myself but on something that should find its way into the broadcast world sometime.

  • #11
  • Comment by hova
Great to see you back, FX... now THAT is what I call food pr0n!
  • FX's answer→ Yes good food old-fashioned food porn, but also the fascination of fire and water.

  • #13
  • Comment by Lucy
Worse than dead, I thought you went on a diet.  Not that you need to.  So glad to see you again.
  • FX's answer→ Rather dead than on a diet I'd say!

  • #15
  • Comment by Steve Martin
String lamb looks fabulous!  I could do it in my fire pit - how long does it roast, and how do you keep the rotation going?  Any tips for the veggies?
  • FX's answer→ Rotations last for a really long time provided your string is thin and long till the ceiling, then all you need it a little twist every 15 minutes or so.

  • #17
  • Comment by Hamza E
...you had me worried for a second there. From TX USA, good to see you are ok.
  • #18
  • Comment by Saxit
This is excellent! That lamb looks so tender and juicy. It's a really nice idea with the pan with potatoes and onions below to collect the juices too. It looks amazing. How big was that piece of meat and how long did it take to cook?
  • FX's answer→ 1.7kg and it took about 3 hours to cook, but I think if you get the flames hot and close enough (without burning of course) it might cook in much less time. The vegetables in the dripping tray need to be some distance away from the embers - experience will determine what works best for you.

  • #20
  • Comment by Jay
That lamb looked perfectly delicious.  How did that string hold up -- I thought it might burn.  Excellent use of that newspaper.  Looking forward to more videos.
Thanks, Jay
  • #21
  • Comment by Shu
Good to have you back! I was almost starving, so to speak.
  • FX's answer→ If you cook every one of the recipes here you should be able to last a good part of the year, and I'll hope to post more until then!

The video looks great, and so do the lamb. I just missed a few more 'technical' details (perhaps in the end), such as how long to leave the meat by the fire, or how to tie it up with the string. Also, the tray with the potatoes and onions to collect the dripping is a great idea; I was curious as to how they looked like when done.

In any case, welcome back.
  • FX's answer→ Well the time to cook depends on many things but this took me a couple hours for 1700gr of deboned lamb. The tray sounded like a nice idea but I only had an axe to move the embers around, so this part did end up like a part of Dante's inferno. You need a string as thin as possible to maximize rotation. Hope you get to try it!

  • #26
  • Comment by Xavier
Glad to ear from you. I hope you enjoyed the cool air up there. Here in Lausanne, we have to keep the Pacojet working all day long to refresh us. Cannot wait for my sicilian pistachios dealer to return in order to give your ice cream a try.
Keep cooking open-hearted !
  • FX's answer→ Yes I am in Lausanne too, terrible heat, but in the Valais it was hotter although less humid. Good luck with the pistachio ice cream!

Francois, I was wondering too, where have you been. Nice to see you back and with glorious lamb no less! I remember watching Chef Jean Louis Palladin do the same thing with Moularde breast.
  • FX's answer→ Interesting, you can in fact do this with lots of different meats!

  • #30
  • Comment by Ty
Once again you have shown us that, despite more work on your behalf, your video skills surpass even those of your photos.  Fantastic watch.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Ty, don't you agree the sound and movement is a rather nice addition?

  • #32
  • Comment by Hank
To number #7, I believe the Austrian gentleman also had a top 20 hit back in the mid 80s- "Rock Me Amadeus".
  • FX's answer→ Yes, many hits from this guy!

  • #34
  • Comment by Alex
FX - so good to see that you are back!  Can't wait to see what you come up with next.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Alex!

  • #36
  • Comment by Paul Mckenna
Welcome back !

Sorry, but I laughed out loud when you burnt yourself and swore.

Looking forward to what comes next.

  • FX's answer→ Yes in fact there is a whole dialog hidden by the music, I say "Fuck, this is as hot at he gates of hell. But they surely don't serve roasted leg of lamb in hell. Well, who knows?".

  • #38
  • Comment by Edna
Feel like my dearest family member just returned from a trip around the world. Ah, but what an entrance.!!! The lamb is wonderful (if pictures tell the tale).
  • FX's answer→ Well thanks Edna! Back from a trip around the Swiss Alps in fact.

  • #40
  • Comment by Mark Du Pont
It's great to see you back!  Your videos are always very interesting.  Thank you and don't go away for so long.
  • FX's answer→ Yes I'll try to publish little snippets like these from time to time!

  • #42
  • Comment by felicity
yum! looks great! and really happy that you're back :)
  • FX's answer→ And it was great indeed!

  • #44
  • Comment by Laura
Francois is back! *does a little happy dance*
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Laura!

  • #46
  • Comment by Patrick

It was a long time, that we have not read you! Thanks
  • FX's answer→ Yes 4 months now!

  • #48
  • Comment by Chirag Parekh
Hey Friend, where had you been to all this time,,, i was really depressed as i havent seen any post from your side since long. i am very happy to hear from you... please from now onwards keep posting new recipes with your decent style. hope to hear from you soon. bye take care.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Chirag, I'll do my best to keep in touch with my FXcuisine.com readers then!

  • #50
  • Comment by Carlos
Francisco Javier: Bienvenido de vuelta a casa !!! Te extrañábamos. Un cordial abrazo. Carlos
I wondered what the heck happened to you!  Glad to hear from you once again.  I love lamb and the idea of roasting it on an open fire like that is very tantalizing.  My fireplace is far too small to do it but yet again, I live vicariously through you.

Good to hear from you again my friend.
  • #52
  • Comment by Harlan Hokin
Thank you for not being dead!
  • #53
  • Comment by Mami
It's so good to see you back!  Illness kind of crossed my mind too but thought better of it and decided that you must have been taking a VERY loooooong vacation sampling some fine food in some far away countries!

Roast leg of lamb made my mouth water! :)

I had a roast pork cooked in a similar style in Andorra Arcallis last month.  BBQ was made with gathered woods placed in an area surrounded by big rocks.  Pork was hang using big rocks and a string - fascinating experience & delicious too. :)

  • #54
  • Comment by gary
Hooray!@!! My favorite blog is back after 4 months!
  • #55
  • Comment by Andy
Hey!! Great to see you again! I've missed your posts. How does the string suspension work, exactly? Do you have to twist it up before hanging it??
Looking forward to more posts!
  • #56
  • Comment by Miss Otis
I was so happy to see you again! Thanks for the lovely hot hot hot food porn.
  • #57
  • Comment by HérésiarqueNova
Nice to see you're well, still radiant and post here again!
You are the best of all cuisine blogs I know, and you miss me.

Best regards.
  • #58
  • Comment by Ore
It is always a pleasure to watch your work.  Some more 'information' would be nice (what was in the tube at the beginning? Did it say tuna?).

As always, we are looking forward to more from you!


Welcome back!

I want to try your Swiss string, my Florida string doesn't twist as nicely.

Ingredients look tasty on the lamb, easy to do a roast in the oven, now I must find a proper hearth in Florida to try the taste difference.

  • FX's answer→ Ivan I took 4 different strings with me to try the best. You need cotton string as thin as can carry the meat without breaking. You could do this on some open fire I suppose.

  • #61
  • Comment by Shiladitya

Good lord !!
Great to have you back FX, and that lamb looks superb !

Hopefully  you will be able to start posting on a regular basis, just like the good ol' days !!
  • #62
  • Comment by Marc
I´m speechless! What a superb video, the HD version is fantastic. I never asked around here if you were dead but have been pestering about video editing. I confess now liking the videos much better. With the HD I was ale to smell the fire, the smoke and the lamb..ah! and event he mustard mix at the start. Wolfgang´s piano piece makes a most delightful entry at the birth of the fire. Good choice!

The meat looks very juicy...we want more! we want more! we want more!
  • FX's answer→ Well thanks for your can words Marc! I am glad we see eye to eye on this - the beauty of cooking can be conveyed in a more compelling manner with sounds and moving images, especially fire and spinning meats!

  • #64
  • Comment by Siri Gottlieb
Glad you're back. Great video!
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Siri!

  • #66
  • Comment by Siri Gottlieb
For those of us with no hearth, I'm wondering if there's any reason we couldn't prepare the lamb and place it directly on the oven rack, not in a pan, with a large pan underneath filled with potatoes and onions to catch the drippings. The only down side I see is you'd have to rotate the meat every 10-15 minutes or so. And of course, you would have a very messy oven rack to clean up after. But why not?
  • FX's answer→ While I can't find any reason not to eat leg of lamb any way you can, there is certainly a reason to roast it with a string. First it's captivating and hauntingly beautiful. Second you'll get a very thick caramelized crust with a smoky taste. No way to get this in an oven - temperature is too low and no wood smoke.

  • #68
  • Comment by Cheryl
Francois for Prez!!!!!!!
A thing of beauty to behold, FX. I enjoyed the video immensely. (you could hardly hear the bad words:) Oh how I would have loved to taste just a sliver of that lamb. Were those baby onions you were cooking by the fire? I was so proud of myself for steaming a couple of clams over a fire while on a camping trip recently (corn on the cob too:) but, to cook a beautiful piece of meat such as that over an open flame, AMAZING!!! How long did it take? Thank you so much for sharing, glad to "see" you back!!!
  • #70
  • Comment by Tony H.
Good work FX, the humour has not changed..the aliens have changed nothing.  I am not sure if it is a good thing or not?  
It looks like we are all waiting in anticipation on what you are going to come up with in the kitchen next.  Cheers from Oz.
  • #71
  • Comment by Scottish exile!
Bloody Hell! Thank god your back! I need your, beautiful food, and artistic films, but most of all your humor. (I live in Phoenix)
  • #72
  • Comment by Frank
Beautiful!  Looking forward to more.
  • #73
  • Comment by don siranni
The absence gave opportunity to revisit all the oldies.  I can't spell or describe "mes-mer-izing" ,but I sure as hell know it when I see it,and this string show is it.I'm sure sorry about reservating over the movies instead if stills. The tasteful audio is a great addition-I'm a convert.
  • #74
  • Comment by Luke
I missed your articles so much! Good to see you're still alive and apparently well. This actually reminds me of a recipe for turkey legs that I used to enjoy.

I'm lucky enough to have a fire pit on my parents' land to use as I please, but alas, I've gone vegan nearly half a year ago. I wonder if perhaps tempeh made of soy curls could be roasted in this manner. Certainly an experiment worth trying.
  • #75
  • Comment by Katrine Ellingsen
Bonjour! et bon retour!  Yippee you are back and once more showing us how it is done.  Will have to try this at the cottage....
  • #76
  • Comment by GunnCat
FX, you have completely blown me away with this post. I didn't expect you could pull off interesting video content with such short preparations, but indeed you have any this is just wonderful! Bravo!
My only reservation about this recipe is more technique. During the cooking process, didn't you think the butcher twine would burn thus causing the lamb to fall into the fire?

Also, do you have a group on FaceBook?
Greetings, FX! I'm glad that you are alive (and cooking!).
  • #78
  • Comment by Oliver Stanton
You have a lot of talent and I hope your short departure has been to launch a venture that I am sure will be very successful.
  • #79
  • Comment by Meramarina
We have seen, but can we believe? So, those unsavory rumors of your demise are not true?  Is this the much-hungered-for revival of FXcuisine, or is it only an ungodly, gourmet illusion, some sort of ersatz FauXcuisine?  

No, that did indeed look real, and well-done, too!  Interesting audiovisual effects you have there:  the crackling fire and splashy water sounds very much alike, and together with the airy landscape and the earthy ambiance of the hearth you've got all the elements put together quite effectively.  I also liked the contrast of the dark, smoky underground against the lightness and greenery above.  It's a chiaroscuro - with meat!

The stringy thing technique cooks the lamb leg equally pink all the way through, even the center.  Surely it made for one hell of a feast!
  • #80
  • Comment by faiz
Very glad to see a new posting Francois, I have been checking almost daily for the past few months. Hope you remain well. (and was'nt that a Mozart piece I heard in the background-- or did  Falco branch out over time?)
  • FX's answer→ Yes, Mozart all right, an easy piano sonata, I just love this!

  • #82
  • Comment by Clare
welcome back!!! do tell what have you been busy with these 4 months ?!!! and now that you are back, more posts please!!!!

  • FX's answer→ Clare I've been filming for 4 months solid, it takes way more time than photography and didn't leave me any time to post stills article - sorry.

Felicidades amigo, otro gran vídeo!!

Un saludo cocinero.
  • FX's answer→ Gracias por tu visita, amigo cocinero!

  • #86
  • Comment by Ani

Good to have you back.I checked this site daily for new recipes!
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Ani, I think I'll only post from time to time as the video takes me too long. But if you guys like those snippets perhaps I can post them here.

It is sooooo good to have you back!

(Haven't made any lens purchases yet)
  • FX's answer→ Glad to be back too Cynthia!

  • #90
  • Comment by isaak
hi! que bueno que estes de regreso!, el lugar es precioso y tu comida se ve riquisima! gracias, tu pagina web es mi favorita.isaak
  • FX's answer→ Gracias Isaak!

  • #92
  • Comment by W.C.
Francois - When you notified us last year that you were moving from still photographs to video, I was concerned. But you are producing excellent videos. This roasted lamb was both satisfying and a bit of torture. My mouth is still watering at the sight of you carving that beautiful thing.
Albany, NY
  • FX's answer→ Yes it was really delicious, pity the lighting outside did not really do the lamb justice, things look more appetizing in the studio!

Good to see you back!! I absolutely loved this video, shot in such a beautiful rustic environment, not to mention the scrumptious looking leg of lamb... I enjoyed it very much, thank you!
  • FX's answer→ I had been planning to cook this for 2 years now and when I saw the old miller's house, I knew this was the right dish for this place!

We have missed you specially your sense of humour, I'm happy you here and no in Pluton, great video and great landscape.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks, the water mills are really spectacular and way cooler than Pluton I'm told.

  • #98
  • Comment by pazuzuspetals
FX, I'm so relieved that you are ok! It's great to see you back! I wish I could smell the roast lamb over the fire.
I love the hellfire commentary, though if they had your roast lamb in hell,  more people would want to go...
good to see you and am looking forward to future posts.
  • FX's answer→ Pazuzu, I think if they serve roasted leg of lamb in Hell, then it must be with mint sauce...

  • #100
  • Comment by celso
Hi, FX, Glad to see you back! The newspaper gag was fine, the recipe looks great, but how didn't the string burn?
  • FX's answer→ The string doesn't burn unless the flames are directly below the lamb, which would burn the lamb first. A thin string is what you want - don't use a chain or the lamb just won't rotate.

  • #102
  • Comment by john ball
welcome back,we've missed you here in Liverpool! We are HUNGRY......
  • FX's answer→ You might want to try this with some fine British lamb!

HURRAY YOU ARE BACK!! :D Missed your lovely texts about food and great pictures. A joy to know that you are well. Have been checking the page often to see if there was something new, but had to leave dissapointed.. but not today :D
  • FX's answer→ I know the feeling, Veronica, unfortunately I was way to busy to film, but hope to be posting some more snippets of my current work here.

  • #106
  • Comment by Peter Johnson
Great to have you back amongst the living - the newspaper proves it.  Loved the video - now I want lamb!
  • FX's answer→ Yes lamb is great and the crust on this one was just wicked!

  • #108
  • Comment by Larry H
gotta love that "Gate's of Hell" comment!  Good to see you back FX!
  • FX's answer→ Yes, I meant to say "perhaps in Hell they serve it with mint sauce..."

  • #110
  • Comment by Ches
Very happy to see a new post!  
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Ches!

Yay you're back! We sure missed you, but this video is definitely worth the wait!
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Alisa!

  • #114
  • Comment by agoose
Glad Back FX! ..........., hungry to being of you .........agus , indonesia  
  • #115
  • Comment by Jon
welcome back!
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Jon!

I'm not a fan of lamb, but that video could change my mind! Glad to have you back and I'm glad to be back!!
I've got a lot of catching up to do.
  • FX's answer→ Laura, you can in fact do this with a chicken too, with great results I heard!

  • #119
  • Comment by sharon
I missed your updates!!!
Glad you are back!
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Sharon!

  • #121
  • Comment by paulina
Nice to see you back!!!!!!!!!
My favorate cuisine blog is returned!!!!!!
  • FX's answer→ Thank you Paulina!

I'm so glad to see that you are back! I've been missing your posts!

That is interesting and very promising!...

I'm looking forward to your future posts!


  • FX's answer→ Thanks Rosa!

  • #125
  • Comment by Lucas
Absolutely glad to see you back, FX!
I was longing for some food porn, you have no idea.

Great recipe, I`m going to try it next week.
Simple questions:
Is that rosemary? What else did you use on that lamb?
Thanks a lot!
  • FX's answer→ Yes Lucas I used rosemary, thyme, mustard, rock salt and olive oil to make a paste to rub the lamb with.

  • #127
  • Comment by Heather Walker
Absolutely yum! My mouth was watering as I watched your video and munched on a cold frankfurt.
  • FX's answer→ You need to get yourself some of that great New Zealand lamb Heather, and light up the fire for a night of decadent string roasting!

  • #129
  • Comment by David
Welcome back, and what a grand return.  The lamb looks delicious.  What did you have under the lamb catching the drippings?
I'm glad your back.  
  • FX's answer→ I placed potatoes, onions and herbs in dripping pan. The problem is that having no tools, besides an axe, to move the embers around, the dripping tray turned bright red (no kidding) and lost all of its tinning. The vegetables had long moved to a better world!

  • #131
  • Comment by POV
Hi FX.
Great video, I a big fan
Why dont you put your video´s as a podcast feed on Itunes store, it is easy, and for people like me a big thrill, to see video´s via Apple TV :-)
Will just add more people to your heard of fans
  • FX's answer→ I'd rather see it broadcast for real, so this one was more of a way of letting you guys see what I am up to now than a goal in itself.

  • #133
  • Comment by Angelo
Welcome back Francois! It's good to see that you are ok. I thought the European Food Regulation Department ([?]you know, that group that wants to stamp out wonderful treats like cheese made from raw, unpasteurized milk for sanitary purposes that you keep mentioning in your site) had you killed for making snippy remarks about them. ^_^

I believe you have more than answered enough "are you dead?" questions from your long time readers.

Question though, do you need to soak the thread before using it like you would wooden skewers before using them to grill meat?

  • FX's answer→ Angelo actually I will film another of these raw milk dairies tomorrow, they haven't disappeared!
    You don't need to do anything with the thread, soaking would dry up within minutes anyway. The only risk is having the flames lick up the thread, but since you need to have the flames on the sides of the lamb rather than directly underneath it, this should not happen.

  • #135
  • Comment by Anthony
POV - realize that once we give FX to other people we can't take him back.

I am very selfish.

FX - I come from an Asian background and grew up never knowing what Westerners eat at home. I have to say that your recipes are causing me to turn very quickly from cooking mainly Taiwanese cuisine to cooking French and Italian daily. I've eaten Pasta All-arrabbiata for nearly all of last week and have a kitchen filled with tomatoes as a result. Also, my first taste of Beef Bourguignone made my brain explode. I made it with low quality wine ($3 per bottle!) and I can't imagine how good it would taste with a proper wine. I also ended up eating that for nearly a week. It is so different from what I'm used to eating, especially since my previous experiences with Western food always include a jar of ready-made sauce. Since I've started reading this I've steadily gained a house full of western herbs. However, I'm still sticking with my Chinese chef's knife (somewhat similar to the Haiku knives you wrote about - layered forged steel). After all, I have to remain true to my heritage somehow.

Perhaps this is rude to you, but I don't mean any offense - I was wondering what your favorite food websites are? As wonderful as fxcuisine is, I'm sure that I've read every single entry on your site at least twice. I'd be thrilled to see what sites you enjoy.

Thank you so much for putting your experiences and recipes for the rest of us to enjoy. It must take a lot of work generate and edit all of the images and videos, but I'm glad you decided to not keep those experiences all to yourself.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks for your kind words Anthony!
    For the wine, don't regret using cheap red wine to cook as Hervé This, the food scientist, has tested that all that remains in the sauce after a long simmering is glycerin and some acids, the quality of the wine doesn't reflect much on the finished dish.

    I don't read any food websites, just paper cookbooks and food TV. Sorry!

  • #137
  • Comment by Troy
Great video and recipe!...you're clearly in good health...nice summer tan :)
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Troy!

Were the last parts of the video open hearth surgery?

Good to see new stuff from you. And great comedy to amuse someone as insomniac as me.
open fire and lamb meat. that is the definition of heavenly food. originally, döner was also cooked in a similar way, revolving in front of open fire.
My only regret is that this video did not last for two hours. I was enthralled and enchanted. You are a master! Every video I've seen I have loved. And you tied that lamb so beautifully. Keep up the terrific work!
  • FX's answer→ Oh but it does last for hours, I had to edit a very short sequence. Sure you could spend an hour looking at the lamb rotating in slow motion, but in the final cut I'll have many more things to show. In fact this is about rye, those mills served mainly to mill rye to make bread. The lamb is just a digression!

  • #143
  • Comment by Cesar
Que alegria!!!! vuelvo al trabajo despues de vacaciones y tambien vuelve FX, ...lo mejor de la mañana!!!!
  • #144
  • Comment by Chas
Thank goodness you're back FX!
  • #145
  • Comment by reclusegrrl
Yay FX.  I was quite worried you were gone.  
  • FX's answer→ I was gone in the Alps filming, not gone for good!

  • #147
  • Comment by Maryrose
I love this post - thank you!  Happy to see what you're up to... you're fantastic!
  • FX's answer→ Glad you liked it Maryrose!

  • #149
  • Comment by Jason
Welcome back amigo! If you used your hands to distribute the wet rub then I wish you would have included this in the video. Very fun stuff!
  • FX's answer→ Jason, I used mostly my knife to rub the rub into the meat!

  • #151
  • Comment by Martin
Found your site only a few weeks ago and was, after the first couple of recipe-reads, worried I found this site too late. Great to see you continuing! Thanx very much for sharing! I have dear friends from sicily and I cooked the broccoli-pasta for them... they wanted the recipe! Greetings from Zurich-
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Martin, glad you had fun with my recipes!

  • #153
  • Comment by Maryann
Great to have you back!!  This lamb looks amazing.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Maryann!

  • #155
  • Comment by Donna Young
Oh Francois! SO HAPPY to hear from you finally!!! You were SO bad to leave us fans without any new posts for so long! ;-) But you're forgiven because that scrumptious lamb roast was a winner! Thanks for sharing that—I am not even really fond of lamb, but that looked so amazing, I would definitely try it! Best, Donna
  • FX's answer→ Donna, you can even try this with a chicken, same idea, works fantastic!

  • #157
  • Comment by Bart
François -- thank you so much for showing this!  There is something viscerally-pleasing about watching meat cooking over a wood fire.  To me it's the apogee of rustic food, which is at the polar opposite end of "fine dining" in style but certainly not in flavor and satisfaction.  I'm also happy that you included the stream-driven water wheel showing all of its primitive workings.  What was the purpose of the two pounding mallets?
  • FX's answer→ Yes Bart, I absolutely concur, fine dining is the most boring thing on earth compared to such rustic but spectacular dishes of frank and colorful flavors. There is more about the water wheels but not for the Internet unfortunately. The mallets pounded hemp and linen to make clothes. They have 7 different mills in the complex, just amazing.

  • #159
  • Comment by Vimal
where have you been, fx ? i was checking this page occasionally for an update just to find nothing. Very happy to know you are back. I love this blog..
  • FX's answer→ I was busy filming video!

  • #161
  • Comment by cookery
Huzzah!  FX is alive and well, and he has returned to us with a triumphant leg of lamb!  I half expected the recipe to be on the preparation of the "fatted calf..."  ;)
  • #162
  • Comment by BlackOnion
I'm so glad to see You again.
Greetings from Poland.
Ever since your posts stopped i have been reading every recipe from page 1 onwards...Thank goodness you are back!
  • #164
  • Comment by Gregory
So glad to see you back!  I was getting worried there :)

Amazing as always that lamb looks so tender and juicy, keep up the good work.
  • #165
  • Comment by Gilles
I love your recipes .... and your accent "wiz and open harz" ;)
  • #166
  • Comment by ADP
Ahhhh FX I am so happy you're back!  I don't think I've ever commented before, other than looking at and lusting after your photos, but this weekend I'm determined to cook a veritable FX feast, with Tandoori Chicken, Jerk Tandoori Chicken and Tandoori Leg of Lamb (but substituting leg of goat....have you ever had it? it's phenomnal)

All the best!

  • #167
  • Comment by Mary
so nice to see you back!!!! I was starting to worry about you!!! I hope to see many more posts!
Great recipe! Thanks for the sharing.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks

  • #170
  • Comment by JUAN
Xavier, tu trabajo me emociona. He visto tus fotos y videos muchísimas veces desde que descubrí tu sitio hace un mes y medio. ¿Cuánto tiempo tarda en cocinarse? 3 a 4 horas? Abrazo grande. Aquí estamos esperando tu próximo trabajo.
  • #171
  • Comment by Michael Handelman
The Lamb on string, almost had me giving up being a vegitarian, it looked delicious (then I thought about the Lamb's brothers, sisters, not to mention Mother, who is probably still waiting for her little one to return Home!
Apart from the start of the Video, (all that water had me rushing to the loo,) an excellent bit of Filming!
And by the way, you might still be alive, but I nearly died of starvation during your absence, not knowing what to cook!
Nice video! not only the video even the stuff in there. The meat looks so juicy and tender. Its fabulous. Good to see you back. This recipe could make a perfect day for me and mates around me. A delicious wholesome meal and then a pack of our favorite Habanos cigars. Can't ask for more! Not so fond of lambs but will surely have a go with this recipe.
  • FX's answer→ Peter you could actually cook a pig roast or even a chicken like this, perhaps with a little tobacco sauce (go easy on the tobacco leaves in food as the nicotine can really kill you a whole lot faster than by regular inhalation!)

  • #174
  • Comment by Bob
The lamb looks wonderful...I as others have missed your postings.
I must say I prefer your photography over video, because it gives a more in depth picture of the techniques used.

I have a question...do you soak the string in water to prevent it from burning?

Looking forward to more of your wonderful recipes.
  • #175
  • Comment by Stephen
You are greatly missed!  Can you recommend some internet food sites that you enjoy so that we might continue to be inspired during your absence?
  • FX's answer→ Stephen I spent the whole day shooting a Bénichon meal in Switzerland and unfortunately have no time to browse food blogs. I do realize that my readers miss the biweekly updates and if it was possible, would continue to post them, but I really have run out of time. But reward will come to those who wait...

  • #177
  • Comment by Shawnna
Dear Fx- I have been completely transfixed with your site for the last several days. My husband comes home from work and says "Are you still on his site?" I have saved many of your recipes in my favorites to try some time when I am feeling adventurous and am not surrounded by my family who, it seems, always need something from me! Lol. Love the photos as well. I think I have clicked on every tag you have available. Thanks for the great read & for the inspiration in my kitchen.
P.S. Next time you are invited to a castle please let me know so I can squeeze into your suitcase.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks a lot for your kind words Shawnna! The castle was really a nice experience but I visit lots of farmers these days and sometimes their spartan alpine homes are just as memorable!

Que bom que você voltou cara, já estava ficando preocupado com o sumiço dos posts do seu blog, adoro tudo que você faz aqui.

  • #180
  • Comment by Adam
How did you learn to do this? Tradition? Book? Experiment? I've never seen anyone cook like this!
  • FX's answer→ Books in fact, but people do it in the Southwest of France. Nice recipe, right?

  • #182
  • Comment by Adam
May I ask which books? I'd love to read them, as I'm very interested in "cooking with an open hearth".
  • FX's answer→ Adam, in English the one to go for is The Magic of Fire by William Rubel.

  • #184
  • Comment by Andrew
Bravo! "Not dead, but 'gone before'", as the old song says. Well, 'come before' us you have, with a most delightful and simple 'gastropornographic' titillation! Often, in cinematic extravaganzas, we are inclined to ask "how did they do that?" Well, I have such a question! I imagine that your roasting lasted an hour or so (maybe a little less). How can you be sure that the string will not burn and let your Princess of a joint, decked in its Fairy Godmother marinaderie down into the ashes (where the Ugly Sisters of the story would have it belong)?

Truly a gem in the annals of cuisinema! The heroine ('la gigotte', on doit dire) is as beautiful and as amenable as one can imagine a heroine to be. The hero, well, he comes across as a man with charisma and an easy affability but who, nevertheless reads and understands the Times (both with and without the capital 'T'). What would we do, though, without BAD news which it is a delight to burn? (It was a good line, though!)

Almost the finest moment in the film for me, though, was the line: "Now ... you know me. I am all for cooking with an open hearth." The way it is delivered - the actions (pressing the hands to the breast) and the delightful accent - however, give it the meaning (to an English ear) of "You know me. I am all[/old = 'of old', 'from my childhood' ... very poetic!] for cooking with an open heart" Yes, Monsieur "FX". That is what endears you to us, your avid consumers: your heartfulness, your heartiness and your heartfelt honesty! Vous etes, veritablement 'dans la coeur' et 'de la coeur' ... "prend courage, citoyen de nos coeurs!"

You are, unless I am very much mistaken, greatly in danger of being picked up by the television head hunters who will 'make a meal of you'. Perhaps you are planning, indeed, to beat them at their own game and to sell your films to them? Maybe I haven't been following your 'blog' as closely as I might.

I believe that you have said already that 'FX Cuisine' belongs not to your work (how you earn a living) but to the region of 'personal passion' (and that, also, you do not mix the two, except that your work takes you to places that, sometimes, excite personal passion and that it also allows you to graciously make your exquisite style of entertainment available to us for free). Perhaps "a living" is what brings the food to our mouths but "living" means how we prepare and present it so that we are happy ... maybe that is a purely English joke, I don't know!

I wish you 'more power to your elbow' (in reminiscence of your pasta machine) but also I would love to see your 10 minute videos (or even 30 or 60 minute ones) on our TVs. I don't pay for TV (I let the advertising do it for me) but I might be persuaded to buy your presentations!
  • FX's answer→ Andrew, I love your prose!
    'Gastropornographic' titillation is what I live for - so it is a living all by itself.

    Now the leg of lamb is under the string and the fire is under the leg. See the pattern? The flames are just far enough (and to the side, not directly underneath) so that the lamb roasts but does not burn. The string being placed so much higher makes it impervious to flames.

    I am truly glad somebody picked the hearth/heart jokes. There are lots of jokes hidden in my recipes but they are unseen by most people. For the record I am not pleased at all with the quick edit in this film (my mistake) nor with the piece to camera which comes a bit unatural. But I'm making progress.

    Finally about the TV, yes I'm making a serie for TV right now and have tons of similar sequences which I am busy cutting as we speak. Someday on a TV near you!

  • #186
  • Comment by Katie
I have only three questions:Mustard in a tube? Not seen that - is it available in the UK anywhere?How did you keep the string moving?And can I come to dinner next time you make this?That looks so juicy and tender! What a fantastic way of cutting meat! Is this the first video? I don't remember seeing one before on this site? Ooops! I did say there were only three questions.Thank you for the video - it's utterly fantastic to see the water wheel working at the beginning of it too!
  • FX's answer→ Katie please feel free to use any French-style, vinegary mustard (not the sweet English mustard). The tube does not add anything, it was just convenient on location. This is a short extract of a longer episode intended for TV which I am in the process of editing now. Hold on for more!

  • #188
  • Comment by donsiranni
Francois,each time I do this I get a little bit better,until I tried a supermarket pork loin,which was much too dry and tough.I'm sure it was the pigs' fault,not mine.  When can we all do the newspaper trick again? Soon we hope.
  • #189
  • Comment by MarkSpizer
great post as usual!
Great to see your back.  An evocative piece filled with great scenes and the lamb tastes great as well!
  • FX's answer→ Glad you liked it!

  • #192
  • Comment by ways-to-make-money
You should update fxcuisine.com more often, but i love it!
ways to make money
  • FX's answer→ OK

  • #194
  • Comment by Online butcher
I've eaten a LOT of lamb in my time, but never seen it cooked like that. Amazing, very impressive.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks indeed it did look good!

  • #196
  • Comment by Ferocious_Imbecile
OMG I'm so hungry now. That is too delicious. YOu live the most glorious life in teh world
  • FX's answer→ Thanks but all you need is a leg of lamb, a piece of string and a fire!

  • #198
  • Comment by Ian
You look very well indeed if you are dead.
Great video and one of the very best ways to cook a piece of lamb.
I used to go to a fantastic little place in France called La Petite Touche, where they cooked lamb on a string, hanging over a pan with shallots and garlic, in a big open fireplace.
In fact they lit the fire, SLOWLY cooked the lamb on one side of the hearth, and raked some of the red coals across to a grill sitting on the hearth, where they cooked steaks etc. Many happy evenings spent in the warm glow of that fire, from which wonderful smells were emanating. Very French and just magical. It really doesn't get much better than that.
Madame also made THE most incredibly delicious Mousse au Chocolat I have ever eaten.

Found your website while looking for a traditional 'Buckwheat pasta dough' recipe for Bigoli. Through that I found the absolutely brilliant KoMo Grain Mill, a superb piece of kit for me because, I bake my own breads, using organic flours from grains which are grown by my French farmer friends. Now I can buy their grains and mill them myself. How cool is that?  
You are obviously a serious Foodie like me. Thank you very much for the great website.

  • FX's answer→ Ian, this sounds just like the restaurant for me! where is it?

Great article. Always enjoy reading your posts!
  • FX's answer→ Thanks

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