EASTER is nigh; if you belong to a Christian religion, it is the most important day in the liturgical calendar. It is the end of Lent, a time when Christians worldwide end their 40 days of fasting.
The Greeks celebrate Easter with special breads, biscuits and meats are cooked and served and eaten with gusto. Elaborate plaited loaves and brioches grace the tables, often baked with red-dyed hard-boiled eggs embedded in the dough and peeping up through the surface. Lamb is an integral part of a traditional Greek Easter feast.
Unless you are feeding a cast of thousands, a whole lamb might be more than the average family can handle. Instead use a butterflied leg of lamb, marinated overnight and roasted over a charcoal barbecue or in a barbecue with a hood to get a near-authentic flavour.
Greek-style barbecued lamb
INGREDIENTS: 2 large lemons
leaves from 1 large sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
1 bunch oregano, chopped
3 bay leaves, chopped
4 tbs sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup almond meal
4 tbs seeded Dijon mustard
2kg leg of lamb, butterflied
METHOD: Zest and juice the lemons.
Place zest into a food processor or mortar with the herbs, garlic, salt, pepper and two tablespoons of the oil and process.
Add almond meal, lemon juice and the remainder of the oil, and mix to a paste.
Rub into the leg of lamb and leave for at least two hours, but preferably overnight.
Bring lamb to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat the barbecue to approximately 230 degrees; if using a Weber, cook using the indirect method, ie with the charcoal beads to the sides.
Place the lamb on the barbecue and roast for 25 minutes, turning once. Reduce the heat to approximately 180 degrees and cook for a further 30 minutes, turning once more.
Remove from heat, wrap in foil, and stand for 20 minutes before serving.
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