Passover Lamb

In addition to a few recipes from Gourmet Magazine (orange flan, which you should totally make because it was stunningly good, the sweet and sour celery, and the saffron rice - I made MUCH smaller quantities of these), I also made a leg of lamb. We bought a small, boneless one; about 3 pounds. It was really lovely, but does require a bit of planning. I marinated the lamb for a full day before cooking. I'm sure if you're in a hurry, you could just do a couple hours, though a full day of marinating really lets the flavours get in there! Anyway, hope you enjoy!

3 pound boneless leg of lamb


1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon each: dried basil, dried marjoram, ground coriander
1 tablespoon each: aleppo pepper, sumac, minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon each: ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground dried bergamot peel (or orange peel)
2 tablespoons each: pomegranate molasses, olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
scant 1/4 cup orange juice
1 small sprig rosemary (I left this whole, but you can chop it if you like)

Mix together. Put lamb in a baking pan that closely fits its size. Pour marinade over (it will be very thick; only slightly thinner than a paste) and rub all over both sides of the lamb. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. When you wake up in the morning, turn the lamb over and pat more of the marinade over it. Go about your business for the day (giving it roughly 24 hours total of marinating time, being turned only once). Heat oven to 325. Remove plastic and cover with foil (or you could just have used foil all along, I suppose, but I didn't think of that). Insert probe thermometer in the thickest part and roast until it reaches 145F (for medium rare). I think that was maybe an hour or an hour and a half for me (this time chart may help). Let it rest a while (I let it rest while I was finishing the rice), and during the resting portion, pour all the marinade from the roasting pan into a small saucepan and boil it down to make it a thick sauce. Serves probably 6.


  1. Anonymous10:07 AM

    I like lamb at Easter. It's very traditional :)

  2. Your meal sounds lovely. We, too, are having lamb this weekend. I just can't make up my mind how we are going to do it. Toying with butterflied on the grill or Swedish style with coffee sauce.

  3. Maryann,

    I had no idea. I always thought ham was the traditional meat. Interestingly, lamb is NOT eaten over Pesach (Passover) by purely Ashkenazi Jews, but Italkim and some Sephardic traditionally still eat lamb.


    Grilled, butterflied lamb sounds really good! I've still got to try that Swedish style coffee; do you just make it in a regular saucepan (every time I intend to make it, I wind up making some pastry that uses up all my eggs)? If you're lacking sides, that Gourmet recipe for the saffron rice was incredible and I definitely recommend it!

  4. I enjoyed reading your blog...

  5. Thanks, Jen! I hope the recipes are useful for you!


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