Recipe of the month:
EASTER ROAST LAMB, GREEK STYLE
Spring lamb is always a treat and here is a variation on the usual recipe for English roast lamb which uses plenty of herbs, garlic and, surprisingly, mature hard cheese. Ideally this should be kefalotiri, which you might find if you are in an area where there are Greek shops; otherwise parmesan or grana makes a good substitute.
1 leg of spring lamb, weighing about 2kg/4lb
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and cut into 16 slivers
100g mature cheese, cut into 16 slivers
the juice of a large lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 220˚C/gas 7.
Place the meat on a large piece of foil (you are going to wrap it up in the foil).
Bathe the meat in lemon juice on all sides and then make 8 incisions in the fleshy part of each side of the leg. Poke a piece of garlic and a piece of cheese into each slit.
Season well with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap up the joint securely in the foil.
Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 190˚C/gas 5 and cook for a further hour or so, or a bit longer, depending on how you like your meat. (Greeks eat their roast lamb well done.)
Open the foil for the final 15 minutes of cooking time and allow the meat to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
Serve with a green salad flavoured with fresh dill and boiled potatoes.
Why not make a filling for some pitta breads with some pieces of cold lamb mixed with a little olive oil and some chopped onion, pepper, tomato and cucumber. Seasoned well, this makes a great snack or light meal.