Blog Template Theology of the Body: A Great Recipe for Lamb

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Great Recipe for Lamb

At our house, we celebrate the seasons of the Church with food. Soups in Lent, Indian on December 21st, etc. etc, and most importantly - lamb on/in Easter. I will probably never understand why ham has become the Easter standard. We most certainly don't say "O Hog of God, that takest away the sins of the world." We say lamb.

I think the problem with lamb is that so few have any idea how to prepare it, and so it becomes dry and unsatisfying. But, a well prepared leg of lamb is a wonderful treat. As well, it is particularly inexpensive, since so few people eat it. (Costco currently sells leg of lamb for $3.99 per pound.) Ever since I had started preparing lamb, I had grill-roasted it or oven-roasted it, I had simply doused it in olive oil, shoved garlic cloves in surgical slits, and seasoned it with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Very good results.

Then, I saw in Food & Wine an article about the Easter meal at the Veramonte Winery in Chile. There was the perfect recipe - a slow roasted, herb-crusted, beauty of a leg. I prepared it on Easter, and we were all blown away. It is so easy to prepare, and with a proper roasting pan and some fresh herbs - you're off to the land of lamb-filled ecstasy.

Here it is folks:


* 6 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
* 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
* 6 garlic cloves, minced
* 6 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 3 tablespoons thyme leaves
* 3 tablespoons chopped rosemary
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* One 7- to 8-pound bone-in leg of lamb at room temperature, fat trimmed
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1/4 cup Dijon mustard


1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the butter, garlic, parsley, thyme, rosemary and lemon juice. Season the lamb all over with salt and pepper. Rub some of the herb mixture on the underside of the lamb and set in a roasting pan, fat side up. Spread the mustard over the top of the lamb, then pat the remaining herb mixture over the top of the lamb.
2. Bake the lamb for about 2 hours, until browned on top and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 150° for medium meat.
3. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes. Carve into slices and serve.