Feast on Greek lamb at Easter

Central and North Burnett Times - - JUNIOR SPORT - with Mag­gie Cooper Con­tact Mag­gie at mag­gies.col­umn@big­pond.com

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

Serves 6

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°C; 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°C and cook for a fur­ther 30 min­utes, turn­ing once more. Re­move from heat, wrap in foil, and stand for 20 min­utes be­fore serv­ing.

PHOTO: MAG­GIE COOPER

Cel­e­brate Easter with this de­li­cious Greek-style lamb.

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