The fragrance of a leg of lamb roasting in the oven and then the velvety flavour when we can finally partake of it stimulates the senses in many ways.
The roast lamb takes centre stage in a drama that is steadily woven into the Greek Easter plot as each new generation adds their own story to that of their predecessor.
It’s something that has been going on in Greek cuisine for almost 2,000 years.
I’ve added my own ingredients to the story and — modesty having to bow
to taste — I believe this recipe is the best ever! The marinade impacts the meat with its aromatic nuance while the potatoes (yes, of New World origin so not quite part of the 2,000 year old Greek Easter plot) become… simply divine!
2 legs of lamb bone in, weighing 2 to 2.5 kg
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dried garlic, granules (or 1 tablespoon fresh crushed)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon paprika
½ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey mustard or other sweet mustard
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup white wine
6 medium potatoes, cut into half-moon shapes
1 sprig of fresh rosemary leaves, for garnish
- Make several incisions 1 inch long and ½ inch deep all over the lamb. This allows the aromatic rub to penetrate the meat more easily and will also create a crisper, more flavourful crust.
- For the marinade: In a small bowl, stir together the coarse sea salt, ground pepper, garlic, rosemary, mustard, curry, paprika, lemon juice and olive oil until the marinade is form. Spread the marinade evenly over the lamb, working it into the incisions. Let the lamb marinate at room temperature, about 1 hour, or in the refrigerator overnight.
- Boil the potatoes, simmer for 10 minutes and scuff the edges. Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F).
- Transfer lamb, skin side up, to a casserole dish, and add stock and wine. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and place them around the lamb so that they absorb all the lovely juices. Spread the rosemary leaves over the potatoes.
- Roast covered, 1½ to 2 hours. Remove the lid during the last ½ hour of cooking, and roast uncovered until the surface of the lamb sizzles and it turns brown and crisp. I like to serve this dish straight from the casserole.
Serves 2 to 4