Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
This is the traditional Easter meal of Katerina Katsarka Whitley's childhood, she writes in "Around a Greek Table: Recipes & Stories Arranged According to the Liturgical Seasons of the Eastern Church" (Lyons Pres, $19.95, 256 pages).
2 to 3 cloves garlic, cut in slivers
1 leg of lamb, 4 to 6 pounds
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
1 lemon, halved
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted, or olive oil
1/2 cup water
6 potatoes, peeled, cut into quarters
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste, diluted in 1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon oregano
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Open a few gashes in the meat with a sharp knife; push the slivered garlic deep inside them. Do the same with the rosemary. Place the meat in a large baking pan. Rub meat with lemon halves; season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the bay leaf next to the lamb. Baste meat with some of the melted butter. Pour 1/2 cup water around the meat.
Bake 1 hour. Add the potatoes all around the meat; pour the tomato paste mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining butter, juice from the lemon halves and oregano. Bake, until internal temperature reaches desired doneness, 145 degrees for medium-rare, 1 hour. Allow to rest 15 minutes before carving.
Per serving: 480 calories, 25 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 128 mg cholesterol, 27 g carbohydrates, 37 g protein, 421 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.