Garlic and Bacon-Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Rosemary
1 Short cut leg of lamb (about 4 lb)
6 garlic cloves, slivered
2 slices bacon, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
Using sharp knife, remove thin membrane from lamb. Cut tiny slits all over lamb; insert garlic slivers and bacon. Brush oil over lamb. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper.
Roast on rack in roasting pan in 325 oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes to 2 hours or until meat thermometer registers 145 F for medium rare or 160 F for medium. Remove to cutting board; tent with foil and let stand 15 minutes.
Skin fat from pan drippings. Add ½ cup water to pan, bring to boil, scraping up brown bits. Strain and keep warm.
Place lamb with meatier portion facing up. Grip shank end firmly with towel. Cutting down to bone, cut ¼ inch thick slices. With knife parallel to bone, cut slices from bone. Turn lamb so remaining meaty portion faces up. Carve as for first side. Arrange on platter, pour pan juices over top.
The traditional Easter Sunday lamb dinner goes back earlier than Easter to the first Passover of the Jewish people. The sacrificial lamb was roasted and eaten, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs in hopes that the angel of God would pass over their homes and bring no harm. As Hebrews converted to Christianity, they naturally brought along their traditions with them. The Christians often refer to Jesus as The Lamb of God. Thus, the traditions merged.