Story by Leslie Huffman, first published on 4/19/2011. Photo by Alicia, the Kitchen Wench.
Cary, NC – Lamb is a classic entree for the Easter table. The custom of eating lamb at important religious feasts goes back thousands of years, spanning many cultures and religions. Here is an easy and delicious way to serve lamb for your Easter table.
The roast lamb dinner that many eat on Easter Sunday goes back earlier than Easter to the first Passover. The sacrificial lamb was roasted and eaten and its blood posted on doorposts in hopes that the angel of God would pass over their homes and bring no harm.
During the Last Supper, lamb was served with unleavened bread, wine and herbs. Easter lamb also represents Jesus and relates his death to that of the lamb, sacrificed on the first Passover. Christians traditionally refer to Jesus as “the Lamb of God.” As traditions merged, lamb also became a symbol of spring and celebration.
Easter Recipe: Roast Leg of Lamb
- One leg of lamb (4 to 5 pounds)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- juice of one lemon
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- In a small bowl, combine the honey, mustard, vinegar, rosemary, ground black pepper, lemon juice and zest and garlic.
- Mix well and spread onto the lamb.
- Cover in plastic and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
To roast in oven:
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place lamb on a rack in a roasting pan and sprinkle with salt to taste.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 400 degrees and roast for 1 hour for medium rare. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees when taken with a meat thermometer.
- Let the roast rest for about 10 minutes before carving.
What’s Your Easter Feast?
Let us know what you eat to celebrate Easter. You can leave a comment to the story on our website.