Greek Roast Lamb

Greek Roast Lamb is a traditional dish prepared in a unique eastern Mediterranean manner. It is an ideal method of cooking to draw out the subtle flavors that are natural to this meat. Submitted by David McCarthy, Australia

Cooking Tip

This recipe recommends one hour and fifteen minutes cooking time and you should be aware that this is accurate only if you are using true lamb. Unfortunately, the old standard of lamb becomes mutton when the animal reaches one year of age is not honored in many parts of the world. These days there is a lot of what we used to class as mutton being sold as lamb.

Mutton requires longer cooking times at lower temperatures. In fact the last leg of lamb that I bought took almost 4 hours cooking to make tender, proving beyond doubt that it was in fact mutton with lamb stamped on the skin.

So how do you tell the difference? With great difficulty is the obvious answer, but I like to think that lamb doesn't grow very big and some the legs seen on display are too big to be lamb. Don't let this warning put you off cooking this Greek roast lamb, just be aware that you may need to extend cooking time.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs(1.35 kilos) leg of lamb
  • 3 lbs (1.35 kilos) potatoes
  • 1 teacup olive oil or butter
  • 2 lemons
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, optional

Method

First clean and cut the potatoes in pieces. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice, stir and put in a roasting pan.

Wash the lamb and without cutting it, add salt and pepper and put in the middle of the pan. Add the butter or the oil and 2 cups of water.

Bake it in hot oven (450F or 230C)in the beginning and then lower the temperature to 300F or 160C.

When the meat has been baked on one side, turn it on the other side. It needs about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

This Greek Roast Lamb recipe serves 6.

Variations

The Greeks often insert whole garlic cloves into the meat by making a hole with a pointed knife and pushing the clove into the recess.

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