Ham and/or lamb are the typical centerpieces for Western Easter celebrations. In fact, you may hear a lot about having some “Spring Lamb” which is a bit misleading as though the lamb were really born in the Spring, and eaten for Easter, they would be the lamb equivalent of lechon de leche and they would be tiny and pretty scrawny and probably not too appetizing. It seems most “Spring Lamb” are actually born around Thanksgiving or so in November the previous year, and that birth schedule is not typical for most types of lamb… in other words, they are forced to give birth… At any rate, if you were wondering what to cook for lunch this Sunday, you may want try this incredibly simple Greek-inspired meal that we did a few months ago but I forgot to write about.
The recipe is not mine, I read about it somewhere, but honestly can’t remember the source. Suffice it to say, it’s someone else’s idea. Take a leg or half leg of lamb, soak it in about 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, dried oregano, olive oil, lots of salt and pepper and place it in a large plastic bag and marinate in the fridge overnight. Turn the bag over every once in a while to ensure the meat marinates all over. Don’t be disturbed if the meat gets a really pale color, that’s the effect of the acid from the lemons…
Put the lamb and all the juices from the plastic bag in a pan and cover lightly with foil and bake in a low oven say 300F for roughly 2.5-3.0 hours. Remove the foil, add some peeled potatoes drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper to the pan, and return to the oven for another 45 minutes or so after turning the heat up to say 375F. Test the meat and potatoes and if you want to brown the meat a bit more, turn the heat up to 450F for 10-15 mins and remove the meat to let it rest on a kitchen counter. Reduce cooking times if you are cooking a relatively small leg of lamb. Serve the meat with some of the pan juices and potatoes. On the side serve a generous greek salad make with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, green capsicum, black olives, feta cheese and a red wine vinaigrette with some fresh or dried oregano. Simple, delicious, festive yet relatively economical. Happy Easter to All!