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Roast Lamb for Easter

In days gone by, families spit-roasted a whole lamb in the yard or in nearby fields and made use of the organ meats in a first-course soup. Today's smaller families find an oven-roasted leg of lamb more convenient and may substitute avgolemono soup (chicken stock with egg-lemon sauce) for lamb broth.

1 leg of lamb (about 5 pounds)
2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed (or thinly slivered)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup water
Small, peeled potatoes (optional)

Wash and lightly trim the fat from the meat and set aside in a roasting pan.

Blend together in a small bowl the garlic, salt and pepper and about half the soft butter.

Make incisions into the leg of lamb with a sharp knife and stuff the garlic mixture into the slits (garlic slivers may be substituted).

Spread the rest of the butter, along with any leftover garlic mixture, over the leg (if using garlic slivers, spread all the seasoned butter over the leg).

Pour the lemon juice over the leg in the pan.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees, about 40 minutes to the pound.

After an hour or so, remove the lid, add the water to the drippings in the pan and baste often until the meat is well-browned and tender.

If using potatoes, place them in the pan around the meat about 40 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

Uncover last 1/2 hour for a crisp skin. Serves 4 to 6.

"Our Collection of Secret Greek Recipes" (revised ed.), 1962

Thursday, March 29, 2001

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