3 min read

Celebrating Easter with a Greek style Roast Leg of Lamb

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Greek style roast lamb with olive oil, oregano and lemon juice

“Christos Anesti!”.

I hope everyone who celebrated Orthodox Easter had a great day.

Did you over indulge?

I kept mine pretty low key as usual. Not sure about being able to fit a whole lamb on a spit in my tiny apartment!

That doesn’t mean I had to miss out on the “main event” so to speak. Through a little improvisation I made a traditional roasted leg of lamb in the oven.

I accompanied it with small, baby potatoes and feasted till I could not do my top button on my pants anymore!

Now, “traditional” means different things to different people. This is a recipe that I grew up with and saw my parents cook many times.

Over the years, I of course changed certain things. Ages ago I wrote about doing a rack of lamb. Another time I wrote doing a loin of lamb and filling it with feta, pistachios and lemon zest.

This recipe pretty much sticks to the traditional way of cooking lamb the “Greek way”.

There’s only a few ingredients, but boy does it pack a flavourful punch!

Garlic cloves are inserted into the flesh, and the rest of the lamb is covered in a mixture of salt, pepper, lemon juice, Greek oregano and olive oil.

The beauty in this dish is not only the meat but that beautiful sauce that forms on the bottome of the pan. The olive oil, lamb juices, oregano and lemon juice combine to make this magical sauce or “zoumi” in Greek.

It’s compulsory that this “zoumi” is served on top of the meat and potatoes. And don’t forget the bread to mop up this goodness!

So simple, yet so good!

In the end I had more than enough. In my next blog post I’ll show you a creative way to use up those roast lamb leftovers!

All the best everyone.

Greek style roast lamb with olive oil, oregano and lemon juice
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Greek style roast lamb with olive oil, oregano and lemon juice
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“GREEK STYLE” ROAST LEG OF LAMB RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 X 2-2.5 kilo leg of lamb, trimmed of any excess fat-at room temperature (take it out of the fridge at least one hour before roasting)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 2 tbsp dried Greek oregano
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 10-12 baby potatoes
  • 1 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 deg C (fan forced).
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut slits into the flesh of the lamb (top, bottom, sides) and insert the garlic cloves in them. Make sure they are fully inserted.
  3. Season the whole leg well and massage the oregano into the flesh.
  4. Pour the lemon juice and olive oil over the lamb, scatter the baby potatoes around it and pour in the water.
  5. Place on the BOTTOM shelf of your oven and cook for 2 hours, ensuring you turn it over halfway. (you may need to add a little water here and there if you find it is becoming dry. When I’m roasting, I set my timer in half hour slots and check on it every time.)
  6. The lamb should have a lovely caramelised brown colour. Remove from the oven and place it on a serving platter, covered in foil. Allow it to rest for half an hour before carving it up. Serve with potatoes and juices.

Greek style roast lamb with olive oil, oregano and lemon juice
Greek Easter eggs dyed red

  • Bizzy Lizzy

    Love a leg of lamb, Peter. Yours looks succulent and tasty! I cook mine with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil too. ; )

  • Lovely! My kinda meal. I love reading about festive seasons celebrated by other cultures. Colleagues shared some treats from over the weekend today and it was delicious. Great hearing about how people celebrated and overate during the weekend.

  • Rosa

    Scrumptious! Those flavors are perfect.

    Happy Easter!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • toula

    Looks amazing and i bet it was delicious too. Look forward to your lamb leftover posts.
    Christos Anesti 🙂

  • Sarah Kenney

    Beautiful spread! Very very lovely

  • You Greeks do know how to cook lamb. My mouth is watering!

  • Drbuoux

    Hi, Peter–New to your blog (great design photos and writing). I was invited to a Greek Easter celebration on Sunday that did include an entire lamb roasted on a backyard spit–and a whole pig too! Red eggs, tzatziki, semolina bread, lamb brains, sausage and more homemade Greek pastries than I could count. All great stuff. Ken

  • bellini

    Keeping those traditions and family recipes is the way to keep the memories alive, although shaking it up a little is good too.

  • joannova

    Peter – your blog looks terrific and these photos have me drooling. I don’t understand why so many people say they don’t like lamb. They don’t know what they’re missing!

  • Amanda McInerney

    Years ago I used to have Greek neighbours and the smell of their Easter lamb used to drive me wild with desire. I can almost smell it again looking at your lovely images, Peter. Thanks.

  • Xristos Anesti. Beautiful photos that made me think of Easters gone by. Of food. Of family and festivities. So glad you’re still enjoying that part of you. It shows. x

  • Americans don’t eat lamb very often as a rule and I arrived here not having a clue how to slice one. So I didn’t roast a leg for a long time. 🙂 Your lamb looks wonderful. Glad the Easter went well and maybe your pants fit now.

  • Peter, you are killing me with your beautiful, beautiful photos. I can almost smell that lamb from here. Gorgeous post.

  • Nothing better than a lamb roast.

  • We did have a nice easter here in Rome as well!

  • Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy

    Man! I wish my lamb roast looked as good as this!! Hope you had a wonderful weekend Peter!

  • From the looks of this leg of lamb, you had a fantastic Easter…Xpistos Anesti!

  • Diana Athanasatos Jackowski

    I cook it the same way however as the lamb rests I put more water in the pan with the drippings and add tomato paste. Then orzo is baked in there for approximately a half an hour or when all the water is absorbed. I know I have two starches but I like the variety.