Roast Lamb for Easter Dinner
Lamb on the Easter table is a longstanding tradition hearkening back to the Paschal Lamb sacrificed for the Jewish Passover. In modern Christian Easter culinary traditions this most frequently has morphed into a roasted lamb dish at Easter. In many countries, you roast the whole animal over a spit, and enjoy it in company!
Tempting as it is to try this at home (our local Costco sells whole lambs – who knew!?) most people have neither the space nor the desire to roast a whole animal. A nice substitution of course is a lamb roast. Here is a super simple recipe that lets the meat shine through!
Ingredients for 8-10:
8 cloves garlic
1 T salt
1 t black pepper
2 T rosemary (fresh)
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T olive oil
Leg of lamb (7 to 9 pounds if bone in, 5-6 pounds if deboned)
Combine in a mortar the garlic, half the salt and pepper, and rosemary, crushing thoroughly. Add the Dijon and 1 T oil, and set aside for an hour.
Take the meat out of the refrigerator an hour before you want to cook it.
Trim the lamb of excess fat (or have the butcher do it). Rub with 1 T oil and half the salt and pepper.
Broil (or better yet, grill) the meat for 5 minutes or so until it is nicely browned. Then flip it and do the same thing to the other side.
Take the lamb from the oven, flip to its original side, and heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Rub the lamb with the garlic-rosemary-Dijon marinade. Place the lamb in the center of the oven and cook for about an hour or hour and fifteen minutes (or around 20 minutes per pound). You will want to take it when it is around 130-135 degrees for medium rare – remember as the meat rests the temperature will continue to rise.
Let it rest, tented with foil, for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Lamb is an easy meat to cook – already tender and juicy by nature. So don't be afraid to try it!
By Peg KernBy Peg Kern