The theme this seventh week of Tessa Kiros' recipes at I Heart Cooking Club is "November Potluck with Tessa." More precisely, this is what was on the IHCC site for the week: "Time to make that Tessa recipe that you've had your eye on but just hasn't fit in with a theme yet..."
I love Potluck weeks because we get to choose anything we want and I've had my eye on this lamb recipe since I first opened the Food From Many Greek Kitchens book and paged through it, you can find it on pages 233-235.
I don't cook lamb, haven't a clue how to do that. I made one lamb dish for the Cooking Italy blog a couple of years ago and that was it. Time to try something new and figure it all out, this was the perfect week to do it as lamb was on sale at the market. The recipe is easy, time-consuming only in that it has to stay in the oven for a certain period, the rest of it is not time-consuming at all, or difficult.
The result is wonderful...so tender with such good flavors from the spices, etc. The pasta was also nicely flavored with the juices from the meat, tomatoes, onions, garlic, etc. Mark declared it "excellent."
It's a great recipe to begin exploring lamb if you are in a mood for that. I served it with the oval pasta, tomatoes, onions cooked with the lamb, and a Greek salad on the side. Definitely repeat-worthy. Click here to see what dishes the others brought to the potluck this week, they will all be up by Sunday night.
3 lbs. 5 oz. leg of lamb
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5-1/2 ounces of green onions (about 4), quartered and coarsely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
14-oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cinnamon stick
9 ounces kritharaki or risoni (rice shaped pasta)
Shredded Kefalotiri or firm Mizithra Cheese, for serving, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Trim any excess fat off the lamb.
Squeeze the lemon juice over the lamb and massage it in.
Put 4 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a large (about 14-1/2" in diameter) baking dish.
Add the lamb, then drizzle the rest of the oil over it.
Rub the paprika and garlic onto the lamb and season with salt and pepper.
Add the onions, tomatoes, oregano, and cinnamon to the dish and sprinkle with some salt.
Put it into the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
Add 1 cup of hot water and cook for 1 hour, turning the lamb halfway through.
In the meantime, boil the pasta in lightly salted water until just done. Drain.
When the lamb is done, add the pasta around it in the dish with 1-1/2 cups of hot water and gently mix into the tomato, trying not to get the pasta on the lamb.
Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the pasta has absorbed quite a bit of the liquid but is still nice and saucy.
Remove from the oven and rest in a warm spot for 5 minutes.
Grind a little pepper over and take the whole dish to the table for serving, with the cheese on the side for whoever wants it.