Easter can truly be summed up in that one word. Lamb.
I apologize to all my vegan/vegetarian friends but I love fresh, local, all-natural lamb. On Saturday, we visited our farm to pick up our Easter meats – a smoked ham from Vermont and this gorgeous boneless leg of lamb also from New England.
The lamb was beautiful. Perfect and exquisite. Still, I decided to do all I could to wrestle the moist flavor from the meat. The night before, I slathered the inside and outside with an herb paste made from fresh herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, sage), lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. I layered lots of lemon slices inside before tying it up with kitchen string, forming a perfect log.
At 6am on Easter morning, the husband and I rose to quickly get the smoker stoked with wood chips. We placed a tub of marinated water in the bottom of the smoker and gently tucked the lamb onto the top shelf. The water was filled with all sorts of flavoring agents: shallots, garlic, lemon skins and insides, fresh parsley and sage.
After seven hours at a low 200 degrees, the smoke permeated the meat to form a beautiful pink smoke ring. I applauded my husband, along with our seven other guests, and dug in.
Sure, I made loads of other delicious side dishes like white wine braised bok choy, caramelized brussels sprouts and asparagus, onion gratin, spring mache salad and roasted potatoes. And a cute apricot-ginger glazed ham. But those were all just little character actors on the Easter stage. It was all about the moist, flavorful lamb.
I am now dreaming of Summer weekends, smoking meat in the back yard, glasses of crisp white wines and cold beers, long conversations that go into the late evening or early morning, with great friends, under a tent to canvas us from the mosquitos and moonlight. Soon, very soon.
Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic Studio. Follow Maggie Battista on Instagram.