Is there anything more traditional than authentic Greek Lamb recipes?
Not for a Greek, there isn’t.
Celebrate Easter – or any other special occasion – with what is arguably the best meat you can roast, either in an oven, on the Weber BBQ or if you are lucky enough, on the spit (rotisserie).
Today we cook Greek lamb, one of our favorite lamb dishes. Greek lamb roasted using traditional herbs and spices as a marinade – yum!
Simple to prepare and cook, Greek lamb is a great dish to make, especially when cooking for a crowd. The scent of roasting lamb combined with garlic, rosemary, and lemon is one of life’s great pleasures. If you were hoping to find the best lamb recipes for dinner party menus, you’re in the right place.
It is a classic dish and leaves the host or hostess with plenty of time to entertain and impress your friends and family. It’s a great choice of lamb dish for a dinner party.
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Lamb is a popular red meat in Greece as it is elsewhere in the region. We take a closer look at traditional Greek lamb dishes, how lamb is eaten in Greece and in expatriate Greek communities around the world.
Read on for the recipe and learn how to serve the best Greek Sunday dinner!
Greek Lamb in Greece and Around The World
It is very traditional in Greece to break the Lent fast on Easter Sunday feasting on Greek-style roast lamb, roast potatoes and village salad. Family groups (and invited friends) often gather at a designated house to enjoy the roasted lamb being cooked on a spit.
A whole sheep is used and this can take most of the day to cook. Whilst the lamb is cooking, there is much merriment with raki, wine, dancing and mezethes (small dishes) being consumed in the meantime.
Can you just imagine that with the sweet scent of roasting garlic and rosemary-infused lamb? You can read more about Greek Easter here, including the fact that it is not this coming weekend in Greece!
Other popular methods of roasting lamb in Greece are in the home outdoor oven. We saw these everywhere on the island of Naxos. Essentially the same as an outdoor pizza oven, the only difference being, it is wood-fired. The lamb can be hot-roasted (usually a leg of lamb) or slow roasted (usually a shoulder of lamb). Bread is also cooked in the outdoor oven.
Other great ways to cook Greek lamb to enjoy:
- Loin chops or cutlets over a charcoal BBQ
- Gyros (the meat part in souvlaki)
- Lamb baked in a clay pot with kritharaki (a form of Greek pasta)
- Moussaka (usually with eggplant)
I could go on. The bottom line is that Greeks know a thing or two about cooking lamb. It is an essential part of Greek cuisine, and it is good. So good that Greek methods of cooking lamb have been exported all over the world.
How to Cook Greek Lamb Roast at Home – Step By Step
Unfortunately, I don’t have a spit or outdoor oven to cook Greek lamb dishes. The next best option, in my opinion, is to use a charcoal-fired Weber (or kettle) BBQ. An indoor oven also works and it is what I use in the winter.
Your next decision is which cut of lamb to select. For high-temperature roasting like this, I prefer to use a leg of lamb. It can be either boned or whole.
I also prefer to marinate my lamb overnight to allow all those great, Greek flavors to permeate through the meat. If you don’t have time for an overnight traditional Greek lamb marinade, you can cook the roast straight away. You will still end up with a great result.
Marinating your leg of lamb is the only preparation required – until you are ready to slice the cooked meat.
Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your lamb leg. Here is a great website to calculate the cooking time based on the weight (in pounds or kilograms).
It is traditional to serve Greek lamb with roast potatoes and village salad. It is a great combination everyone will enjoy.
Looking for a salad to go with your lamb roast? Try this easy Greek village salad. It’s one of the best side dishes for roast lamb – . Greek or otherwise.
Other delicious side dishes for lamb include:
- Greek-style braised green beans
- Creamed spinach
- Roasted asparagus
And for dessert? Continue the Greek theme with these loukoumades (Greek donuts).
Or you can go the full Monty and prepare a Greek-themed feast, just perfect for a dinner party or special occasion lunch.
Fancy roast lamb with Latin American flavors? Click here for roast lamb with chimichurri sauce.
Slow- cooked, roasted lamb is another easy option for roasting lamb and is beautifully moist. Greek leg of lamb slow -cooked is oh-so-divine!