Slow-cooked Greek Easter lamb with lemons, olives and bay leaves

This authentic dish made from tenderly melting leg of lamb is a must for your Easter celebration. The perfectly slow-cooked lamb is infused with flavors of garlic, lemon and potato, making a truly irresistible centerpiece for Sunday dinner.

Because the lamb is cooked low and slow, it becomes incredibly tender and practically falls off the bone. The spicy and zesty notes of the lemons add a refreshing touch to the dish, perfectly complemented by the salty olives that add a touch of flavor to every bite.

This slow-cooked Greek Easter lamb not only promises a melt-in-your-mouth experience, but also fills your home with an irresistible scent. Gather your loved ones around the table and let the delicious scents and flavors transport you to the Mediterranean as you enjoy this succulent dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic bulb, divided into cloves, half peeled and sliced, half unpeeled
  • 8-10 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 lemons, quartered lengthwise
  • 2½ kg leg of lamb
  • 50 ml Greek extra virgin olive oil, plus 4 tbsp for the potatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1kg Cypriot potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise (if you can’t find these, any large waxy variety is fine – try Desirée)
  • 140g Greek Kalkidis olives (or other large, pitted green olives)
  • 125 ml red wine or dry white wine

Tip

Add a garlic clove

For an extra hit of garlic, gently press the roasted (unpeeled) garlic cloves from the bottom of the pan with the back of a spoon while the lamb rests. Mix the garlic with the pan juices before pouring over the meat.

Preparation steps

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
  2. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves, 3 bay leaves and the lemon quarters in a large roasting dish and cover with 200 ml cold water.
  3. Place the lamb on top, drizzle with olive oil and rub all over.
  4. Using a small sharp knife, make small slits in the lamb skin and then insert the remaining peeled and sliced ​​garlic and bay leaves into these slits.
  5. Season the lamb well and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  6. Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven.
  7. Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2.
  8. Cook for 4 hours, skimming the fat from the pan juices and removing the foil for the last 30 minutes.
  9. After 1 hour, place the potato wedges in a large roasting pan, brush with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and season well.
  10. Roast in the oven with the lamb for 1 1/2-2 hours.
  11. Transfer the cooked lamb to a large piece of foil, wrap tightly and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
  12. Check that the potatoes are cooked (if necessary, turn the oven up to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7 to finish cooking).
  13. Add the olives and wine to the pan juices, simmer and keep warm until ready to carve.
  14. Serve the thickly sliced ​​lamb with the olives, potatoes and tahini-lemon sauce (see “Which goes with it”), pouring the meat juice over it at the last minute.

Nutritional Information

Equipment and tools

To make this Slow Cooked Greek Easter Lamb, you will need the following equipment and tools:

  • A slow cooker or large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid
  • A sharp knife for cutting and peeling
  • A cutting board
  • A frying pan
  • A spoon for basting
  • A citrus press or grater

Allergen information

This Slow Cooked Greek Easter Lamb recipe contains the following allergens:

  • Garlic
  • olive oil

Please note that if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions, it is important to check that these ingredients are suitable for your needs before preparing this dish.

Storage and leftovers

If you have leftover slow-cooked Greek Easter lamb, here are some storage and reheating instructions:

  1. Allow the lamb to cool completely before placing it in the refrigerator.
  2. Place the lamb and remaining juices in an airtight container or wrap tightly in aluminum foil.
  3. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  4. To reheat, preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C).
  5. Place the lamb in a roasting pan and cover with foil.
  6. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through.
  7. If necessary, you can also warm up individual portions in the microwave.

Enjoy delicious, slow-cooked Greek Easter lamb as leftovers, either on its own or in sandwiches or salads.

The Health Benefits of Slow Cooked Greek Easter Lamb with Lemons, Olives and Bay Leaves

Slow Cooked Greek Easter Lamb with Lemons, Olives and Bay Leaves is more than just a delicious traditional dish. It also offers a range of health benefits thanks to its nutrient-rich ingredients.

1. Garlic

Garlic is known not only for its strong taste, but also for its numerous health benefits. This recipe includes both sliced ​​and roasted garlic cloves, which give the lamb a rich and savory flavor. Garlic has been used for centuries for its potential medicinal properties, including boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, and improving heart health.

2. Bay leaves

Fresh bay leaves not only enhance the flavor of slow-cooked lamb but also provide health benefits. Bay leaves are a good source of vitamins A, C and B6, as well as minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. They are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and can help with digestive and respiratory problems.

3. Lemons

The addition of lemons in this recipe gives the dish a tangy and refreshing taste. Lemons are packed with vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports the immune system and promotes healthy skin. They also contain flavonoids, which may have anti-cancer properties and aid digestion.

4. Greek extra virgin olive oil

Greek extra virgin olive oil is a key ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and is an important part of this recipe. It gives the lamb a soft and delicate taste while providing numerous health benefits. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are known for their heart-healthy properties. It also contains antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases.

5. Cinnamon

The subtle hint of cinnamon in the lamb marinade creates a unique flavor profile. Not only is cinnamon delicious, but it also offers potential health benefits. It has been studied for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some research suggests that it may help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

6. Cypriot potatoes

The choice of Cypriot potatoes or another large, waxy variety adds a comforting touch to the dish. Potatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6. They provide essential carbohydrates and fiber that promote satiety and aid digestion.

7. Greek Kalkidis olives

These large pitted green olives add a salty flavor to the dish and also provide health benefits. Olives are a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and contain antioxidants called polyphenols. These compounds may have anti-inflammatory properties and protect against oxidative stress.

8. Red or dry white wine

Adding red or dry white wine to the cooking process adds depth and complexity to the lamb’s flavor. In moderation, wine can have some potential health benefits. Red wine in particular is rich in antioxidants such as resveratrol, which can have positive effects on heart health.

By combining these healthy and flavorful ingredients, Slow Cooked Greek Easter Lamb with Lemons, Olives and Bay Leaves will not only satisfy your taste buds but also provide a variety of nutrients and potential health benefits. Enjoy this traditional dish as part of a balanced diet and appreciate its flavors and beneficial benefits.

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