Photos and styling by Angelina Marie, Short Eared Dog Photography
Several years ago, Ronnie Granger decided lamb was going to be his family’s Easter meal of choice. “I don’t have anything against ham, I just don’t really understand why it’s something people eat on Easter,” says the chef and proprietor of Sunday’s Kitchen, a popular downtown eatery at 112 Sixth Ave. “We’ve got to branch out. We can’t just eat pork anymore.”
Granger says he had always wanted a reason to cook with lamb, so he designated it for the religious holiday. “It’s so much more expensive than beef, so I decided there would be one day a year we’ll roast lamb. Anytime we have it, we know it’s a special day. It’s always a treat.” he says.
The chef was kind enough to reserve one of those treat days for us, preparing leg of lamb—along with vegetables in garlic and butter—according to his tried-and-true, oven-roasted recipe.
He maintains that any lamb preparation needs to put the meat’s unique flavor profile up front. That’s why his recipe remains fairly simple. “It’s more fatty, more robust and takes a little bit more care to cook,” says Granger. “You don’t want to hide [the taste] in smoke or anything like that.”
Easter Sunday Leg of Lamb
3 to 4 boneless legs of lamb
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons garlic- and basil-infused extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Juice from 1 lemon (2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl; coat lamb generously.
Mix 1 pound mini Dutch potatoes in a large bowl, with
1 pound fresh carrots, chopped and blanched, and 1 pound asparagus, blanched.
Coat vegetables with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 ½ tablespoons garlic salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning.
Combine vegetables and lamb in an oven-safe dish. Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 1 ½ hours, or until desired doneness.
Remove from oven, melt 1 ½ sticks butter and pour over the roast and vegetables; let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with fresh rosemary on a platter.
Makes 6 to 8 servings