Easter is right around the corner and this last weekend I took the opportunity to test out a new recipe. When I think of Easter dinner I almost always gravitate towards lamb which reminds me of spring and I have had this recipe for a Greek style roast leg of lamb from Kalofagas bookmarked for a while now, just waiting for a special occasion. One of the things that I really like about Greek cuisine is the heavy use of fresh herbs and this roast lamb is marinated in a mixture of rosemary, thyme and oregano in addition to lemon juice, mustard, paprika and of course a generous amount of salt and pepper. After marinating the lamb is roasted until it is moist and falling apart tender and then potato wedges are tossed in the drippings along with more lemon juice and some oregano before being roasted until nice and crispy! What a meal!
When roasting meat the goal is for it to be moist and tender and there are two ways to get this; the first is to roast the meat just until it hits the sweet spot at medium-rare and the second is to keep roasting well beyond well done where the bonds that hold the fibers of the meat start to loosen and the fat starts to render returning the meat to a moist and tender state. A lot of the time when you roast lamb, you go for the sweet spot at medium rare where the lamb in really pink and this recipe is not one of those recipes; here we roast it until it is so tender that you can cut it with a spoon.
In addition to the amazing lamb this recipe also calls for using the lamb drippings to roast some potato wedges in and they might just be better than the lamb itself! The potato wedges are tossed in lemon and oregano and they are roasted at a high temperature until they a crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside. With the combination of the flavour provided by the dripping, lemon and oregano and the textures, these potato wedges are almost impossible to resist!
Although roast diners are always good, I sometimes enjoy using the leftovers even more so I often get larger cuts of meat than needed planning to get lots of leftovers! I kicked off using the lamb leftovers this morning by making some roast lamb gyros, with tomatoes, onion, tzatziki and feta for breakfast and I served them with some of the leftover roast potato wedges and a salad.
Greek Style Roast Leg of Lamb with Lemon Roasted Potatoes
A Greek style lemon and herb marinated roast leg of lamb with lemon roast potatoes that is perfect for Easter or for a special Sunday dinner.
- 8 cloves garlic, half slivered and half chopped
- 1 (4 pound) leg of lamb with bone in
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
- 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
- 4 lemons
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 2 pounds potatoes, optionally peeled and cut into wedges
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pierce the leg of lamb with a knife and insert the slivers of garlic all around the surface.
- Mix the remaining garlic, oregano, rosemary, thyme, the juice and zest of 1 lemon, the oil, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper, rub the mixture over the lamb and let it marinade in the fridge for 1 hour to over night.
- Place the lamb on a rack in your roasting pan, top it with some of the marinade and place enough water in the pan to cover the bottom without touching the lamb.
- Cover in foil and roast in a preheated 450F/230C oven on the middle rack until tender enough to easily pull from the bone, about 2-4 hours, adding more water if needed.
- Reduce the heat to 350F/180C and roast until browned, remove from the oven cover in foil and let rest.
- Remove the drippings from the pan reserving them.
- Skim off a few tablespoons of the fat from the drippings and toss the potato wedges in them along with the juice of one lemon, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut the remaining lemons into wedges, add them to the pan along with the potato wedges and roast at 450F/230C until the potatoes are tender on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside, about 30-45 minutes.