Perfect Easter Lamb
By Tristan McLarty, Meat and Seafood Manager
I love lamb. When a lot of us think about lamb we incorrectly think about mutton, not tender, delicious lamb. True lamb is processed before the animal is 14 months old and is clean and sweet in flavor. Many people mistake mutton for the same thing, which comes from older animals and can be tougher and develops a gamier flavor. Lamb is also a great choice because it is a better quality protein than other red meat and it is tender and easily digestible. Lamb is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially B12, zinc, and iron.
I love lamb chops, rack of lamb, lamb meatballs, roast leg of lamb. I love it all. Lamb is wonderful to cook with because it is delicious in a variety of styles and adapts well to many preparations. Typically, lamb is prepared with Mediterranean spices. The classic Greek style is probably the best with the combination of lemon, oregano, and garlic, but lately I have been in an experimental phase and trying new recipes.
For Christmas, leg of lamb is my go-to for the family table. Most often I use the holy trinity of lemon, oregano, and garlic, but decided to try something new this year. I tried a Moroccan Spiced Leg of Lamb recipe and my family loved it. Bold flavors of ginger, coriander, and cumin pair incredibly with the lamb and my first attempt was such a hit that I have already made it in this style again and am keeping the recipe on hand. If you want to try an amazing lamb recipe with incredible flavor that is a little different, try this.
Moroccan Spiced Lamb
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4 lb. bone in leg of lamb roast
6 Tbsp. olive oil
2 lb. small carrots, peeled and halved
2 bunches green onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. harissa paste
2 tsp. kosher salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix ginger, cayenne, coriander, cumin, tsb salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Rub all over the lamb.
Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook lamb until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Add carrots and scallions to skillet, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat with pan drippings. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until vegetables are tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of roast registers 125 degrees for medium-rare, 135 for medium, and 145 for medium-well. Cooking time is between 12-15 minutes for medium-rare and 25-30 minutes for medium-well.
Meanwhile, whisk garlic, yogurt, lemon juice and harissa paste in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. When finished in oven, transfer lamb roast to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. When ready, slice leg roast and serve with vegetables and harissa yogurt. Now it’s time to enjoy!