I remember as a child when Greek Easter came along, my mum would serve lamb for dinner. First we would go to the market the day before and purchase one leg (buti) of lamb with the bone not broken. She was so proud to make the purchase and to return home to prepare a delicious meal for her family.
Lamb has been the meat of sacrifice in Greece since time immemorial. They would sprinkle it with oregano and thyme that grew wild on the mountainside and prepare it with olive oil and lemon juice before roasting it over the fire.
Just as spaghetti sauce tastes different in each village by the Italians, so it is with the Greeks. One thing that seems to be in common with lamb recipes is the garlic. Don’t skimp on the garlic, that’s for sure!
Greek roast lamb is served well with pasta, rice or potatoes. I enjoy a Greek salad as well with my meal. The secret is to bake the lamb in a very hot oven at first and then lower the temperature. I sincerely hope you enjoy this recipe and may happiness and joy surround your table.
1 leg of lamb (9 lbs. or larger)
3-5 to 12 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
1/2- 1 Tablespoon of salt
1/8 – 1/4 Teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon of oregano or more
1 Teaspoon of thyme
1 Tablespoon of spearmint flakes (optional) I use a little
2 Lemons, juice only
3 cups boiling water
Wipe meat and place in a shallow baking pan.
With a small knife make four or more incisions all over and insert sliced cloves of garlic. Rub with salt, pepper, oregano and mint.
Roast meat at 425 degrees F, 220 degrees C. for 30 minutes.Reduce heat to 350 degrees F, 180 degrees C. and continue baking 2 hours longer, adding water in the pan. Add lemon juice the last half hour and baste lamb with juice.
Skim some of the floating oil that accumulates in the pan and use the remaining liquid for gravy. If desired, remove the lamb from the pan and add parboiled potatoes and continue baking the potatoes. Enjoy!
By Diana Rogers