How to make it

  • Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a gigantic plastic freezer bag. Add the lamb and seal the bag. Shake to evenly distribute the marinade over the lamb and refrigerate to marinate for 8-12 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 500 F.
  • Remove the lamb from the marinade and wash quickly under running water to remove most of the marinade. Pat dry
  • Season with 2 teaspoons salt on all sides. Spread the lamb, fat side up, in a large roasting pan and set aside.
  • Combine the olives, olive oil, lemon juice, dill, garlic, cracked black pepper, and the lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor.
  • Pulse 2 to 3 times. Do not puree.
  • Coat the fat side of the roast to form a crust.
  • Insert probe thermometer into the thickest part, so you are not opening the door constantly and you don't poke too may holes - this will let all the juices run out and you will get shoe leather.
  • Roast the lamb at 500 F for 30 minutes.
  • Drop temperature to 200 F and roast until the thermometer registers 130 F for medium-rare, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Turn off oven and do not open the oven, let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Remove roast from oven and let stand 15 minutes before even thinking about cutting the meat. If you do, all the juices will run out and you'll have shoe leather.
  • Slice the lamb and serve warm or at room temperature. At Pasca (Orthodox Easter) we eat all our foods room temperature as it is a day without work.
  • Note: The cooking time will vary depending on the cut of the meat. If your probe thermometer has an alarm, set it for 120 F, otherwise start checking the temperature at 1 hour.
  • Don't forget that the meat will continue to cook once removed from the oven (as it rests), so 140 F will yeild a medium doneness.
  • Don't forget those tasty bits on the baking sheet, these can be spooned over individual slices of lamb as a tasty sauce. Just deglaze with a bit of reserved marinade or red wine.

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