Recipe 30: Passover Seder: Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary

April 26, 2011


Passover Seder Entries Disclaimer: My family celebrates Easter, but this year my mother and I decided to study the Passover tradition and have a Seder. The Jewish traditions are undeniably ancient, interesting, respectable and beautiful. We made a total of eight Passover dishes, most of which having special meaning to the tradition. I will be sharing what each of these means in the ceremonial feast along with sharing my normal ramblings. I just wanted to make it clear that I don’t take the Passover Seder tradition lightly. I don’t want to take away from it’s sanctity at all. I also do not claim to be a Passover expert. Despite my research, if I have misspoken in any regard, do not hesitate to correct me.

Passover meaning: Zero’a: this represents the lamb whose blood was used to protect the Israelites from the last of the ten plagues. They placed it on the doors of their houses so God would protect their firstborn. According to my reading, this is why it is called Passover because God passed over their houses. The shankbone also represents God’s outstretched arm of deliverance.

Mom and I have never eaten lamb, let alone cooked one. Mom hears the sheep baa-ing whenever she thinks about eating it, and I just haven’t because we never ate it growing up, so it’s out of my comfort zone.

We were sitting down going over all the necessary courses for our Passover Seder and trying to think of substitutes for the most symbolic and important piece of the feast. My father had already made it very clear that he WOULD be eating ham for Easter per usual. So we thought: maybe ham is enough. But it was wrong, because Jewish people don’t eat ham. And if we were going to have a Passover Seder, we were going to do it right.

Before we know it we were standing in line at the butcher of a very busy grocery store, nervously.

“They’re going to be out of lamb. There’s no way they have anymore.”

“Passover is going to be ruined before it starts.”

We got up there and made it very clear to the butcher that we didn’t know what we were doing.

“Hi. We don’t eat lamb and we don’t know what we’re doing. Do you have lamb shank? How much of that lamb rib can we actually eat? Can we loin instead of shank? Is it going to continue to baa when it is in my belly?”

The guy went and searched in the back for a few minutes and said he couldn’t find any but he would ask the main butcher. The mains butcher came to us with more bad news and said: let me try one more place.

We. Got. The. Last. One.

He carried it over to use and even deboned it for us, saving us energy and money on poundage. It honestly felt like a miracle. Mom turned to me and said: I think we’re supposed to cook this Seder. It set the tone for the entire two days of cooking. It was on.

The lamb seasoning was very easy. After mixing the thick seasoning together we poured it into a bag with our beautiful lamb cut to marinade over night. It was beautiful.

We cooked it the next day at 450 degrees and then lowered it to 200 degrees. Well that was… Wrong. The 450 degrees was correct, but the 200 degrees was in celsius, not fahrenheit. Luckily we realized this in time to raise the heat back up and get it cooked before serving time. The meat was tough, but delicious.

Lessons learned:

1. Sometimes recipes give you degrees in fahrenheit and celsius… Be sure to be consistent.

On to the next one.




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