Us Greeks do enjoy our lamb. Although we don’t have it on our weekly roster of meals, it’s always revisited. Lamb is often spit-roasted for Easter, lamb chops get the grill treatment, tougher pieces get braised or turned into stews and as I’m showing you today, roasting the lamb.
I found a good deal on some lamb shoulder at the market and my intent was to roast it just like a bone-in leg of lamb. If lamb seems out of your budget, try lamb shoulders. I bought mine for $11.00 and it fed 4 people generously.
Roasting lamb for myself (and as experienced by others) can end in varying, underwhelmed results. Sometimes it’s overcooked and dry, other times it’s too rare or to much fat and even some gaminess in the flavour.
I think I finally got the method right. The herbs I used are pairings with lamb (rosemary, oregano and thyme) but the I roasted and prepped it a little differently this time. The result? A lovely browned lamb, juicy and succulent on the inside and crisp roasted potatoes that absorbed the lamb juices. I achieved all this despite my having to roast the lamb to a medium-well doneness as the natives (Greeks) would have had my head!
If you want a rarer lamb, invest in a meat thermometer. I have one that has a wire attached so the display is outside of the oven and I even have an alarm to alert me just before my set doneness.
12 cloves of garlic
3 Tbsp. dried oregano
3 Tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary
3 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
3/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cups lemon juice
1 cup white wine
salt and ground pepper
1 8-lb leg or shoulder of lamb
6 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into quarters lengthwise
- Finely chop the garlic, herbs and add olive oil, wine lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper (to taste) in to a container and mix well.
- Place the lamb in a dish or large bag and pour half of the marinade over the lamb (reserve the other half for the next day’s step). Coat the lamb well with the marinade and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, bring your lamb and marinade to room temperature an hour before cooking.
- Pierce the lamb with a knife all over the meat and rub the remaining marinade all over the meat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. At this point you also want to prepare your potatoes. Toss in olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon juice, coat with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Into a preheated oven of 425F, roast your lamb with the lid on for 30 minutes with the potatoes around the lamb. After, reduce your heat to 375F and roast for another45 minutes to an hour (the last half hour, take the lid off to give the lamb it’s nice colour).
- Serve with seasonal vegetables, some good Greek red wine and enjoy.
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