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Author Notes: My Italian friend Terry first introduced this recipe to me in Vancouver on a rainy weekend. We made it many times over the years changing it with different herbs and fresh veggies, but finding fresh lamb was always difficult. Now that I am on the Eastcoast in Nova Scotia, organic Northumberland lamb is readily available. This is melt in your mouth good and the casing is strictly for cooking not eating. Tradition is, the youngest person who can hold a hammer and an old clever, gets to break the casing and the eating begins. This is an Easter favorite in our house. —SaySchwartzAndBeSure
Casing for the Lamb
- 5-6 cups all purpose umbleached flour
- 2-3 cups water
Herb Paste for the Lamb
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
- 1/2 cup fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cup fresh basil- optional
- 1 teaspoon sea salt/ black pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons exellent olive oil
- 6-8 cloves organic garlic
- lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 400
- Crush 6-8 large cloves of garlic and mix with salt to make a creamy paste, add black pepper. (Terry, "Take a sip of your favorite wine").
- Add parsley, rosemary, (basil) and olive oil. (Terry, "Take a good sip of your favorite wine"). Mix to a paste by hand or in a small processor. Add lemon zest and set aside.
- Put 6 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add 2-3 cups of cold water and make a soft dough.
- Remove and knead on a floured counter until elastic. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, big enough to completely encase the leg of lamb.
- Rub the herb past all over the leg of lamb and place the leg upsidedown in the center of the rectangle. Use all the paste.
- Fold the short sides up first, then the long ones to completely encase the lamb. Brush with water where the casing meets , molding it around and making sure the edges are all pressed together to seal the casing.
- Put in a large roasting pan with the seams at the bottom, sprinkle with flour on the top. Cook for 2 hours (not much more). Terry would tell you to drink more wine now. To serve, crack the casing open with a clever and hammer and remove the lamb. It will fall from the bone. Scrape the inside of the casing if you wish.
- Serve with olives, artichokes, asparagus, potatoes, all the things you love. Enjoy. (Terry, "have more of your favorite wine").
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spring Lamb