Marinated Roast Lamb
*The calories per portion,mentioned above, refer to the marinade.
Lamb meat is really popular in Greece. It’s a actually a staple here. We love roasting lamb or goat meat slowly, for hours, so that the meat becomes very tender and easily falls right off the bone with a fork.
Another popular way to have lamb or goat is sliced in chops and grilled, which is perfect for backyard barbecues and of course the traditional Greek Easter way -which is a bit hard to look at for any non-Greek- where the whole lamb is put on a large skewer and is spit-roasted for hours on low heat (rotisserie style). The latter method is used when large families are gathered to celebrate Easter or in other festive occasions.
As for ourselves, we always prefer a well-marinated cut of lamb or goat, slowly roasted in the oven, served with some Greek salad and garlic-lemon roasted potatoes. This marinade recipe is fantastic for both goat & lamb cuts. It's a classic Mediterranean marinade with strong oregano and mustard flavors.
In this recipe, the lamb cut is completely coated with the marinade and it's marinated for a minimum of 5-6 hours. It's best however, to refrigerate overnight or for 24 hours. Cover the pan -in which you have put the lamb- well with film and put it on the top rack of your refrigerator.
You can use this marinade for any lamb or goat cut (legs, shanks, shoulder, chops etc). One of our favorite parts of lamb is the shoulder and shank, which is a bit fatty and is suitable for slow roasting. It's also less expensive than other lamb cuts.
This recipe is really easy, you just whisk the marinade ingredients, pour it over the meat, and let it marinade. When ready, you just put it in the oven -initially covered with some foil- and roast for 3-4 hours. If not using shoulder, you'll need less time of course. Every hour you take some of the juices and marinade from the pan and pour it over the meat using a large spoon.
As simple as that. Let's see in details how to roast a marinated roast lamb shoulder.
(Per Kg/2lb of meat):
- 2-3 garlic cloves, cut in quarters lengthwise (see photo 1)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about half a medium sized lemon)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dry oregano (Greek/Italian)
- a pinch of dry thyme (1/8 teaspoon)
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt
Cut the garlic in half lengthwise. Place the cut surface on the cutting board and cut again in half lengthwise to create small strips/wedges (pic.1). Using a sharp knife create small cuts in the meat and insert the garlic strips (pic.2).
In a medium sized bowl, add the olive oil and whisk in the rest of the ingredients.(pic. 3). Put the meat in a ceramic/Pyrex baking pan and cover with the marinade (pic.4). Make sure every part of the meat is coated (rub with your hands). Cover with cling film and put the pan on the top refrigerator rack. When ready to roast (preferably the next day): preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/390 Fahrenheit. Remove the film and replace it with some foil.
Place the pan in the middle oven rack. Let it roast for 2 hours. Remove the foil, and using a large spoon take some of the juices and marinade from the pan and pour it over the meat ("bathe" the meat with the juices, basting technique).
Roast uncovered for 1 hour, flip over, and repeat the "bathing" with the juices. Roast for 1 more hour, depending on how cooked you prefer your lamb.
When ready, remove from the oven, cover with some foil and let it rest in a warm place for 15 minutes before cutting it. Serve with oven roasted potatoes, French fries and/or a green salad or a Greek salad :)
1. As mentioned, you can use this marinade for either lamb or goat. Depending on the cut you choose, the roasting time differs.
2. You can also use dry rosemary instead of oregano & thyme.
3. You can also use spicy mustard if you prefer.
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