Easter Roast Lamb Dinner

So spring has sprung, and while we’re yet to see many bare legs in the streets, there are flowers in the park and the winter coats are off. It’s Easter this weekend, which is a very big deal back home. We’ve shared our recipe for hot cross buns, and now for something more substantial. Lamb is of course extremely seasonable, and is the perfect centre piece for a big family meal around this time of year.

And tune in tomorrow for the perfect gravy recipe to accompany your meat.

Serves 6-8
Preparation Time: 2-4 hours, depending on size of lamb

5 fresh sprigs of rosemary
1/2 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper
6- to 7-lb leg of lamb
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rings
4 whole carrots
3 bags of pearl onions

  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • To prepare the lamb: remove rosemary leaves from the stalk and chop coarsely. Combine the olive oil, rosemary, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
  • With a sharp knife, pierce the lamb all over at 1-inch intervals. Shove your finger into each hold as deeply as it will go and stuff the lamb with the rosemary and garlic mixture.
  • Cover the bottom of a large roasting pan with the onion rings, then place the lamb on top. add the whole carrots to the pan and season with a little more salt and pepper.
  • Roast the lamb for 20-25 minutes per pound. Check the lamb every 20 minutes for basting.
  • To prepare the onions, carefully add the whole onions to a pot of boiling water and blanch them for 1-2 minutes, then drain and plunge them directly into cold water for 1 minute.
  • Chop off the end opposite the root and peel off the outer layer.
  • Cut a cross in the root end of each onion with a sharp knife.
  • When the lamb has 1-1 1/2 hours of cooking time remaining, place the onions around the lamb as they will take 1-1 1/2 hours to cook until they are nice and caramelized.
  • After about 1 hour of roasting, insert a thermometer into the deepest part of the lamb. Lamb is supposed to be served slightly pink, not rare. See the temperature chart below for your preference.
  • While the lamb is cooking, prepare the vegetables.
  • When the lamb is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving it, so the juices retreat into the meat.
  • This is when you cook all your green vegetables in time for service!

Lamb Temperature Chart
125F – Rare
130F – Medium rare
140F – Medium – the safe temperature where all harmful bacteria are killed
160 F – Medium well
170F – Well done

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