The traditional Easter table generally centers around one of two meats: you're either Team Lamb or Team Ham.
The lamb is a cross-cultural symbol for spring. The sacrificed lamb is a key element of the Passover Seder, and in Christianity, Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God, slain then resurrected.
In Greek culture, lamb is the king of all animals when it comes to feasting. The standard preparation involves spit-roasting the whole animal, but in case you don't have 27 first cousins to invite over, Chef Michael Psilakis wants to give you a leg up.
For those feeling sheepish about cooking lamb, venture in with Psilakis's stuffed and roasted leg of lamb. He says the Mediterranean flavors of the stuffing help tone down the gamey nature of the meat.
"Americans were afraid of lamb for a long time because of the smell. When it’s roasting, it has this very gamey smell that a lot of people have an issue with that. They're offended by it," says Psilakis.
This recipe will have skeptics and fans alike flocking toward lamb.
Roasted Leg of Lamb
Serves 6 or more, family-style
FOR THE STUFFING
FOR THE LAMB
Makes 3 cups
What a great Easter recipe. Lamb is a family favorite. Thanks for sharing!
Jdizz...where you been ???
I find it rather ironic that Christians would eat lamb, given it's comparison to Jesus. By the way, Easter is not a Christian holiday.It was stolen from the Romans, who in turn stole it form the Germanic peoples. The goddess Eostre represented Spring and fertility, and that's where the name came from. Booyah Christians!
Every modern religion has their origin in ancient (often "pagan") ceremonies and rituals. In 1000 years, christianity, judaism, and islam will have as much relevance in the world as the Greek and Roman gods do today.
Thank you for a sane POV, Bob. The more we learn, the less religious we become.
Kindly leave your Christophobia at the door...
We raise lots of grassfed lamb. They romp on the pastures, have all they want to drink, lots of fun time outside to eat and wander. A great life. And, believe me, if you eat a fish, you are eating at the same intelligence level when you eat lamb. They have a 'school' mentality, are not pets, and are perfectly capable of running you over, breaking your knees, and stomping you, en masse. Only reason they get born is so they can be eaten. Really, take it from a farmer. They need care year round, and pay back is the mmmm factor.
Gosh, Linda, do these lambs come into your house to harm you? Are they deliberately chasing after you to hurt your knees? Is that why they have to be eaten? It sounds like you are far more dangerous to the lambs than they are to you, LOL.
In Egypt, the Jews were instructed to paint the mantel above the door with lamb's blood, so that the Angel of Death would pass over the house and not kill the firstborn son. I don't think that God would have wanted all that wonderful meat to go to waste. I also don't think that wheatgrass juice would have done the trick.
"When the meat is medium-rare – 140°F – a skewer inserted at the thickest point should feel warm when pressed against your lower lip."
I'd take issue with this advice. 140° is painfully hot, enough so to cause burns. It's the 21st century – use a thermometer.
Roast Chinese Duck!
Yia sou, Michael!! But I'm not sure about the sundried tomatoes – yiayia just used garlic, parsley, salt/pepper/oregano and feta. But hey – we were just simple farm people ... regardless – Xristos anesti ;-)
Smoked Pork Shoulder, Grilled Chicken and Sausage!!!!
Let us make this a compassionate Easter http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article3288140.ece?homepage=true
I had bacon and shellfish for passover! NOMNOM!
I love animals....they're delicious!!
Kudos to you Chef Psilakis for being - what comes across as– a savvy, contemporary, and relevant chef with the common sense to stick to an Old World mentality when it comes to roasting meat. It's recipes like these that remind me that I am not a vegetarian, though I can respect that decision.
This is the kind of food that I can spend part of the morning, and most of the afternoon preparing on a lazy spring day. Open the wine, put on the music, play some cards, and wait for dinner. Total win.
Cabrito, Baby !!
I wish my family was making lamb, though I like my more simply prepared. Grandma is making a ham (which I'm sure I will be delicious), but now all I want is lamb!
have you seen my show......... why would you want to eat me ; ;
Yeah, sock is dry.
Jdizzle- You crack me up!
Not after you're done with that sock it isn't. O.o
Your show has been off the air for quite some time now. Prepared properly, your namesake is tasty and good with rosemary. That's why I would eat you.
just reading this left me licking my chops!
Such language-I always held you to a Higher Standard.
oh, fiddle sticks?!?
Barbaric....It amuses me to see all these folks seeing themselves as "oh so sophisticated"....a LAMB...absolutely no
COMPASSION.EMPATHY....shame on all o you
It's impossible to live without causing the death of something else. Death feeds life; life necessitates death. Life and death are not opposites, they create and support each other. This is the way it is. It does not mean predators do not respect their prey.
Yes, yes, yes, Wendles. We get it! You're a wonderful vegetarian and never hurt a flea. We're all barbaric, murderous atavisms crouched over a haunch of lamb killed in the most inhumane manner possible. We get it! Now s h u t u p ! ! !
if you are going to eat lamb.....just don't ignore the piece of animal in front of you....see it ...feel it ...then enjoy eating it
I have a friend whose wife is Vegan. When they were coming over, she warned me that she "could never eat anything with a face."
I served oysters.
Yep, I sure will. I accord with the way things are. I am one with the harmony of nature. Tasty, tasty nature.
If you tasted like lamb, I would roast you on a spit over an open flame in an instant.
why such rage?
Really??? go back and read your own post!
We Greeks are too broke to have a fancy dinner
may I suggest a healthy meal of veggies and grains....your family will live a longer and healthier life....and will not have contributed to the suffering and trauma of another living creature
Veggies and grains are living things too. Just because you don't see yourself in them does not mean they are not alive.
I only know I can look into the eyes a a lamb and into the eyes of my dog and cat
Don't go to Jdizz's house as he is serving cat on Sunday.
wendles, so can I. Just because you're guilt-ridden about the natural order of things doesn't mean everyone else is.
wendles, do you eat potatoes? they have eyes....
Actually, with Greeks traditionally being Orthodox, many spent the six weeks leading up to Easter eating grains, fruits, and vegetables - but nothing from animals. Such is the prescribed lenten diet in the Orthodox church - the same as it's been for centuries. Easter being the Feast of Feasts and Festival of Festivals, some good old fashioned lamb is certainly appropriate. Moderation in all things we eat, right? Modern dietetic theories have nothing on what we received from the Fathers of the Church...
There are theories that Jesus was a member of a group called the Essenes...vegetarians all....
Nope! I love a good party, and don't get me started on Mom's roast lamb. Oh. my. Dad. It melts in your mouth!
See you later!
There are also theories that Jesus married a prostitute, but no one wants to talk about that either.
There are also theories that Jesus married a pros ti tute, but no one wants to talk about that either.
Those defenseless little fruits and veggies you're advocating we eat also have a life vibration, a consciousness that you snuff out when you harvest them for your table. How is that different from harvesting an animal for the dinner table. Just because you can't hear it when you pluck the carrot from the ground doesn't mean it isn't screaming in pain. So be a veg if you want to be...but realize that what other people eat is really none of your business. The only thing more obnoxious than a newly quit smoker is a vegetarian who proselytizes.
Ah. School's out I see.
Our traditional Easter protein is rabbit. No kidding. We eat the Easter Bunny.
I thought I was the only one that did that. Ahhhh, the sounds of the children gasping when you tell them what they're eating. Priceless memories!
We eat delicious smoked ham.
I'm lucky...I'm getting lamb and ham...yum! It's too bad lamb is so expensive–it is a great meat and a common item just about anywhere but in the US.
Yeah, I sure wish my family liked lamb. But no one does but me. Oh well, I make a lovely herbed ham.
Here, too. I just finished making the spiced lamb, and our friends will be making two hams. It's going to be a crowd :-) Happy Holiday!
This year my family is unable to come to my table, so no lamb but a friend of mine is coming and we are going to have a 11/2 lb. lobster. I will steam it and have a baked potato and salad on the side. Sounds good to me but will miss the fanfare of a beautiful rolled leg of lamb.
What are you that eating lobster sparks a snarky comment about cannibalism?
Or did you mean cabalism and this just took a strange turn?
oops cannibalism....correct spelling...I do have a Masters Degree after all
Mee two. Meet eeters make mee sik.
If someone is attending a party, how can they find out if any vegans are also attending?
Don't worry they let you know!
Oh, and holders of a Masters Degree, too.
Don't worry they'll let you know!
A little too much garlic for me but photo # 11 looks wonderful.
My mother was Italian, we always had lasagne and home made Italian sausage,
Having both lamb and ham, of course!
But I do have a problem: my sister, who usually hosts family dinners, and several of her children cannot eat garlic or onion. Anyone have suggestions to substitute for the garlic?
Substitue the children NOT the garlic!
Can't or won't? If the latter – then as the other guy said whose name I am too lazy to scroll up and double check is right: more garlic.
That took more effort that scrolling up didn't it?
They really can't have garlic. Makes it hard to cook for them. I love, love, love garlic.
Use lots of rosemary instead.
Asafoetida also known as Hing, has an oniony garlicky flavor.. Resin from a wild Fennel plant.. Uncooked the aroma is powerful, giving it another name Devils Dung...
Thanks. I was thinking about adding a little asafoetida. I use it in Indian dishes & like it. I've even developed an enjoyment of its smell. Has anyone actually tried it with lamb? I don't think I'd marinate in it, but I may cook up a little in some olive oil & baste with it. Thanks for the idea.
Let us try and get one thing straight. Saying "It's Greek to me" is racist plain and simple. The use of the term Greek for something foreign or unintelligible derives from a characterization of early immigrants to America as people so different they as a people along with their beliefs and actions had to be identified as something completely different.
What you're saying makes no sense. It's all Greek to me.
Technically, they would be stereotyping a prejudicial belief. Greeks are not a race, so it cannot be racist
"Ethnically insulting," then.
Ben....Is that you?!?!?
If one's native language was Greek and someone else spoke only English to them, should insult be taken if they said, "It's all American/British/Australian, etc. to me"? I certainly don't think so.
Get off your PC high horse. I've heard that from more Greek people that you actually know.
"It's Greek to me," actually refers to the ancient Greek language. Here is your gold star for effort.
Hey! I resent that!!!
CASSIUS: Did Cicero say any thing?
CASCA: Ay, he spoke Greek.
CASSIUS: To what effect?
CASCA: Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i' the face again: but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Caesar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.
(William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (1599))
Then you've sent this before?
Nice pun! Well played!
Probably whatever Luby's is serving on Sunday after church.
Wow, what is wrong with a simple lamb recipe? How can you have a greek-style lamb without lemon? For those wanting an easy lamb recipe, mix 1 cup lemon juice with 1 cup olive oil and 4-6 tablespoons of minced garlic. Place leg of lamb in a foil-lined roasting pan and cover with lemon/oil mixture. Sprinkle with parsley and cover tightly with foil. Cook at 325-350 for ~20 minutes per pound until desired level of rareness.
Efchadistau Ekaterina, enna poli kalau. Christos Anesti
Looks like Greek to me!
Too soon – you don't say that until the 15th.
That sounds terrific!
Thank YOU, Ekaterina! :) I read the story and thought, gosh, that sounds good but is WAAAY too hard and time consuming. As a single guy, I have neither the time nor inclination to spend hours preparing something I will wolf down in 10 minutes or less. I have only recently reached the point in my life where I can tolerate spending more time preparing than eating... (it was canned soup, fast food, and ramen noodles for years!) but college is over, work is done, and I'm retired now. I have only recently started cooking for myself, for real, again, first time in years... and wanted to try something with lamb. So thanks again for posting this simple recipe, I may try it when I run out of chicken, when next I go shopping if I can find some good-looking lean lamb. May have to go straight to the butcher. (At least one grocery I visited recently did not have ANY lamb for sale, for some reason.) I have had a long running, mild infatuation with Greek food ever since trying it at a restaurant in SoCal, (can't recall the name,) that had this amazing, delicious chicken soup with lemon. Thought it sounded odd but I tried it and loved it. Mediter-yummian!
Anyway, thanks again!
We're having the neighbor's cat for dinner that day.
Now there is the Jdizz humor I miss!
agree....eating lamb takes the same degree of awareness....doggie stew anyone?
When I was opening my second store, the electrician and I struck up a conversation. I was annoyed as the Chinese restaurant would have morning food deliveries sitting outside the back door, as no one was there to accept them (food danger). He laughed, and told me the story of a chinese restaurant that was shut down by the health department, as the cooks were catching all the neighborhood cats and using them for employee meals (some idiot was throwing the remains in the community dumpster). He told me that in its place was now a Mexican restaurant. I asked if any of the neighborhood dogs were going missing. We had a hearty laugh. True story.
When Mary Shannon and I were growing up, some good friends of our family did a full Greek Orthodox Easter dinner every year. I still remember the foods and traditions from those meals. Great memories there!
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