Italian Style Easter Lamb

Italian Easter Lamb

I’ve cooked a lot of things in my time. You know this, and have seen a lot of it. However, there are two things that I admit that leave me stumped and dumbfounded.  First, stir fry. What those Chinese masters can do with a wok, I cannot. The second of that, is lamb.  Roast lamb.

It being Easter, I figured it was about time for a lamb dish. I haven’t made one since I overcooked the Barbacoa, but i was ready to give it another try. There was a seemingly simple Puglian Easter lamb stew dish that looked fantastic from this month’s cookbook club book and I was all about it.  Armed with my list ready to buy the exact cut of meat required, I got to the store and the boneless lamb shoulder that I was supposed to buy only came in…lamb steak.  NO no no no no no.  Panicking, I pointed at something, nodded my head and came home with a bone-in leg of lamb.  

IMG_0220Italian Easter Lamb

So not the same thing.

Also, not a cut meant to be stewed, I opted to just roast it and used mom’s 20-min-per-pound rule to ensure it wasn’t overcooked, and used the rest of the stew components to make a sauce with the pan drippings.  Well, it worked, not the way I intended but in a no less tasty way.  The lamb was NOT overcooked.  Clearly I can do it, but need to get over the mental block I have about overcooking roasts.

Italian Easter LambIMG_0228

As for the stir-fry, I’ll just continue to rely on House of Hunan.

Italian Easter Lamb

Italian Easter Lamb
Serves 6
Puglian style roast lamb
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Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
  1. 2 1/2 pound bone-in leg of lamb, trimmed of large chunks of fat and rubbed with salt and pepper
  2. 2 TB olive oil
  3. 3 ounces pancettta, chopped
  4. 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced (2 cups)
  5. 4 tsp chopped garlic
  6. 1 1/2 cups white wine
  7. 1 fresh red chili pepper, seeded and diced
  8. 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  9. 1 cup frozen green peas
  10. 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat the oil to very hot. Sear the lamb, about 3 minutes per side, to get a nice crust. Remove from pan and place on roasting rack set in roasting pan.
  3. To the same sauté pan, add the pancetta and let render. Add the onion and pepper and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the wine and scrape up any brown bits. Simmer 2 minutes.
  5. Add the wine/onion mixture to the roasting pan.
  6. Cover the pan and lamb with foil and cook 25 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking another 25 for a total of 50 minutes for medium cooked lamb.
  7. Take the lamb out of the oven and let rest, at least 10 minutes, before slicing. Meanwhile, place the roasting pan on the stove and stir the sauce together well. add the parsley and peas and cook until the peas have thawed. Serve over the lamb, and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan.
Adapted from The Flavor Principle
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World
Italian Easter Lamb

Written while watching the snow fall.

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