Gather Your Peeps…We’re making an EASTER LEG OF LAMB!
The Easter Leg of Lamb. Scented with garlic and rosemary, is an ancient European tradition, stretching back through time. A symbol of rebirth and the new spring, Easter lamb, is the edible essence of spring, and a true form of seasonal eating.
As for the cut, it has to be the leg. A rack is a fine thing, and a slow-cooked shoulder, too. But if you’re going to eat lamb at Easter, then you want a great cut for sharing.
Here's the best way to secure the success of your roast leg of lamb this Easter: First, choose a high-quality butcher, like Bristol Farms and buy the best Lamb you can.
Roasting is the simplest of all ways to cook meat and requires very few additional ingredients on top of the Leg of Lamb. There's not a lot of flavor added or between the butcher and the plate so what you taste, if you've roasted the meat carefully and correctly, is the meat you purchased.
Buy a little bit more lamb than you need, because you'll surely want leftovers for sandwiches and so forth. A larger roast also creates a sense of drama and a feeling of celebration. Plus, roasting a larger leg is a safer bet: You're more likely to please all of your guests, as a larger roast will have more gradations between rare and more thoroughly cooked meat.
On the day of your feast, remove your roast from the refrigerator two hours before you plan to start cooking. You must start your roast in the oven at room temperature, not cold. This will help ensure more even cooking, a more gradual gradation from the crunchy brown crust to the soft, pink center.
Start the oven about 20 minutes before you plan to cook. Set it to 425 degrees — for a nice crust, you must start the roast hot.
A 7-pound bone-in leg of lamb will easily serve eight people heartily, with leftovers. You could use your sharpest paring knife to create small slits in your roast, about an inch deep and insert garlic cloves. But this year, consider combining 10 garlic cloves, 1 cup parsley leaves, 1/2 cup mint leaves, 3 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper and 1/2 cup of olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth.
Rub the paste all over the lamb and let the lamb stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Allow the roast about 25 minutes at 425 degrees before reducing the heat to 350. After another 90 minutes, insert an instant-read thermometer into a thick section of meat (but not near the bone). If it reads 130-135, you will have a medium-rare roast. If it reads 120 or lower, it needs another 10 minutes or so.
The second-most-important step of the entire is resting the meat. It will relax the flesh and redistribute the juices to create a buttery texture. Roasts served directly from the oven are always chewy and not uniformly textured!
To slice, cut thin slices, angled slightly so that you aren't cutting perpendicular to the bone.
(Make sandwiches with Roasted Garlic spread and baby arugula with the leftovers.)
Wishing you a delicious Easter Lamb~