Easter. The time of Chocolate, Bunnies, Chocolate, Hot Cross Buns, Chocolate, Chicks, Chocolate, Eggs, Chocolate and Lambs. More about the chocolate to come on the blog very soon but for today I'm concentrating on the Lamb. The Roast Lamb that many of us eat on Easter Sunday goes back earlier than Easter to the first Passover of the Jewish people. A sacrificial lamb was roasted and eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The lamb’s blood was painted on doorposts in the hope that God would “Pass Over” the marked homes and bring no harm. Accustomed to eating lamb for Passover when Jews converted to Christianity they continued the custom at Easter. Christians refer to Jesus as the “Lamb of God” and the traditions merged. Even without taking religion into consideration Lamb is a symbol of rebirth and the new spring and historically would have been one of the first fresh meats available after a long winter.
The recipe I'm sharing today uses a whole leg of lamb which is slow cooked for 7 hours with a fragrant spiced marinade. I've served it in an informal style with pita bread, salads and dips but it would work equally well as a more traditional Easter Sunday lunch with roast potatoes, vegetables and all the trimmings. The low and slow method of cooking for 7 hours at only 100c might give concern that the meat hasn't reached sufficient temperature to be fully cooked. Lamb requires to reach an internal temperate of 71c and to check on this I used my trusty Superfast Thermapen 4 kitchen thermometer. You can read my full review of this kitchen essential on this previous blog post along with my recipe for Spiced Apple and Rosehip Jelly. Suffice to say my Thermapen is one of my most well used pieces of kitchen kit taking only 3 seconds to give an accurate reading. It provides me with peace of mind that my steak is rare, my fudge will set, my jam won't run off my toast, my chocolate is tempered and my BBQ'd burgers won't give anyone an upset tummy. I seriously wonder how I ever managed to cook without one. Following the recipe I'm offering you the chance to win your own Thermapen in conjunction with Electronic Temperature Instruments.
7 Hour Spiced Pulled Leg of Lamb
1 Leg of British Lamb aprox 2.5kg
1 large bunch of fresh Mint
2 sprigs Rosemary
6 cloves of Garlic
50ml Olive Oil
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Juice and rind of 1 Lemon
2 Onions peeled and quartered
500ml Lamb Stock
2 Tbsp Cornflour
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a food processor and blend to a thick paste. Rub the marinade all over the leg of lamb. At this point you can leave the lamb in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight to allow the flavours to permeate. Alternatively if time is short it can go straight into the oven.
Preheat your oven to 100c
Place the lamb in a roasting tin, add the stock, nestle the quartered onions around the joint and and cover with a double layer of foil.
Cook for 7 hours.
After 6 hours 30 minutes use a Thermapen to check that the internal temperature has reached 71c. Remove the foil and turn the oven temperature up to 180c for the last 30 minutes to allow the lamb to brown.
Take the leg of lamb out of the oven and spoon the juices and onions into a small saucepan to make your gravy. Blitz until smooth with a hand blender and boil vigorously to reduce the volume. Thicken with the cornflower slaked with water and season.
Shred the lamb using two forks. If the lamb is tricky to pull you may find it easier to carve thick slices and pull them rather than battle with the whole joint.
Serving Suggestion - I served my 7 Hour Spiced Pulled Leg of Lamb with Pitta Bread, Coleslaw, Olives, Hummus and Raita.
Electronic Temperature Instruments have provided a Yellow Thermapen 4 Superfast Kitchen Thermometer as a giveaway for readers of Foodie Quine. Prize value is £60. Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below. To enter, let me know in a comment "What will you be cooking for Easter Sunday Lunch?" For additional bonus entries you can follow me on Twitter, Tweet about the Giveaway, follow me on Instagram or like me on Facebook.
Giveaway ends 29th March 2016 12:00am. Good Luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Disclosure : This is a commissioned recipe for Electronic Temperature Instruments . All views expressed are my own.