When I lived in Paris all those years ago, gigot d'agneau was a more frequent dinnertime food for the people I spent time with. Maybe it was less expensive back then. In the early 1980s, I was lucky to get to know and spend time with two French women — it's a long story — sisters who were then in their early 80s. They had been born in Auxerre, in northern Burgundy, but had spent most of their childhood and adult years in Paris.
One of them lived in Fontainebleau and I would go spend weekends there with her, her sister, and other family members. The woman who invited us would cook a leg of lamb the way I cooked one on Friday and posted about yesterday. We'd have it for dinner. That same day, for dinner, we'd have cold lamb slices with home-made mayonnaise as you see in the photo below. This was the finest kind of home cooking.
Home-made mayonnaise is so simple to make with a stick blender, un blendeur à main, that it's almost silly to buy mayonnaise in jars at the supermarket. The fresh stuff is so much better, and isn't so sweet (unless you want it to be). One whole egg, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of vinegar (or lemon juice), 1 cup of vegetable oil (8 fl. oz.), and some salt and pepper. Put everything into the bottom of a tall pitcher or other deep container, stick in the business end of the hand-held blender, and blitz away. It emulsifies almost instantaneously and makes a thick white mayonnaise. Thin and season it with a little more vinegar or lemon juice if you want to. Flavor it with herbs or garlic, or in different ways like the one in this post for different uses: rouille, tartar sauce, thousand-island dressing, and so on.
With our recent lamb lunches (and others), we've been enjying some 2015 Beaujolais Nouveau red wines. Friday's was the one shown above, marketed under the name Pisse-Dru. Dru means heavy and abundant, in describing rainfall, for example. La pluie tombe dru means it's raining hard and heavily. The word has Gallic (Celtic) origins. One explanation for the name of the wine is that it's made from ripe grapes that are so full of juice that it's just squirting out. We both enjoyed this Beaujolais Nouveau more than any of the three or four others we've tried over the past week.
Anyway, there's the lamb, cooked fairly rare and sliced thin. We steamed some little red potatoes to eat with the lamb and, especially, with the mayonnaise. And then we had a big salad of lettuce dressed with vinaigrette (a recipe for the dressing is in this post). Plain and simple food, with good bread and wine.