The main event - lamb on the spit
There is now better way to break an Easter fast without a lamb on the spit for Easter Sunday lunch
Nothing connotes Easter time than the smell of lamb on the spit wafting through the backyard. Traditionally lamb on the spit is saved for special occasions and cultural celebrations such as name days, but it is at Easter time that the lamb as a dish takes centre stage to all others.
Easter is a time of family, reflection, and let's face it, eating. There are so many Easter traditional foods that we eat around this time of year, but none is as revered as the lamb on the spit.
Many Greek families have their own spit roast. But if you don't have one, there are plenty of places around Australia where you can hire one for the day. This is pretty much the tool of the trade and without it, you can't create this culinary wonder.
The art behind the lamb on the spit all boils down to timing, seasoning and the meat itself.
The lamb selected plays a pivotal role as to whether or not the meat is tough and fatty. When choosing a lamb for the spit, aim for one that isn't too fatty, that looks to be quite meaty on the thighs and shoulders, and the lamb ideally should weigh under 20 kilograms. You are looking for one that weighs anywhere between 14 - 17 kilograms, any bigger than that you could wind up with tough meat for your Easter luncheon.
Preparation and timing is key, so begin the night before. Ensure all the parts of the spit have been thoroughly cleaned and laid out to dry so they are ready for Sunday morning. Also, the process of marinating the lamb can begin the night before. Have the lamb resting and marinate to let the meat soak in the flavours.
The marinade consists of the very basic and fundamental flavours of Greek cuisine. In a container, add a large lug of good quality olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and garlic. Leave the garlic in whole but ensure they are peeled. This way the oil will infuse with the garlic flavour but not over power it. Add salt and pepper. Ensure you make a large amount of this marinade as you will need it to constantly baste your lamb throughout the day.
It's all about early mornings for the person responsible for the lamb on the spit.
The lamb needs at least five hours on the spit to get the meat cooked right through, but also cooked so it's falling off the bone. So whatever time you have planned Easter lunch, count backward five hours, and then deduct another half hour for preparation.
First thing you need to do is re-marinate the meat again before it goes on the spit. Pour some marinade over the lamb and massage the mixture deep into the skin. Now comes the time to dress the cavity of the lamb. Rub lemon and garlic in the cavity and drop inside. This will make sure the flavour infuses from the inside out. Be sure to chuck in a large amount of salt inside the cavity, lean towards rock salt as this will make sure the inside of the lamb, and the ribs of the lamb are just as salty as the outside crispy skin. After this is done, you will need to stitch up the lamb using cooking twine and a cooking needle.
The lamb is ready to be mounted onto the spit. This procedure depends on what kind of spit you are using for your lamb but is generally the same for all. Begin by mounting the fork into the shoulder, then tie the front legs into the frame. Force the u-bolt into the middle of the back, then tie it off with the wing-nuts.
Mount the fork into the shoulders, then tie the front legs into the frame, force the u-bolt into the middle of the back, then tie it off with the wing nuts then mount the rear legs on and your spit is ready to go.
At this stage, make several slits into the skin and force in peeled garlic cloves, this will infuse the meat with a garlic flavour.
The trick for a juicy lamb lunch is to cook the meat slowly, and have a lot of patience.
The meat will need to be basted every half hour so use an oregano stalk to baste the meat with the olive oil, lemon juice and oregano mixture. If you notice that the lamb is leaking juices in the early stages of your cooking, then the coal is too high so you need to take it down a notch or else you will wind up with very tough meat as the key is to keep as many of the juices inside the lamb.
The best way to test if the lamb is cooked, marinated enough or just on the right track is to literally take some off the bone and start munching - while it's turning around on the spit. Most people are already full before Easter lunch even begins as they have been snacking on the skin of the lamb while it's been cooking.
When the lamb is ready, it's time to take it off the spit, and start hacking into the carcass - there really isn't any right or wrong way to cut the lamb. But one thing is for certain, this is a four person job - you need two people to hold the lamb from either end, one to do the hacking and another one to continuously sample lamb from every section of its body.
After all this, you can sit down and enjoy your Easter lunch. Traditionally the lamb on the spit is served with tzatziki, roasted potatoes and some garden salads. Around the table you will also find some cheeses and olives to snack on whilst the lamb was cooking. Whatever the case, you can't take away from the main event itself - the lamb. A delicious and traditional way to spend Greek Easter.
- Register Now
- Mykonos: Something to 'Crowe' about
- Greek community pays tribute to Hazel Hawke
- Melbourne Heart signs Massimo Murdocca
- Gastronomy Days at Benaki Museum
- Greece honours Australian WWII veterans
- Greek men affected by crisis
- Christopoulos to open new Melb Cafe
- New rules for reverse mortgages
- Philippoussis vs furry animals
- Kapalos to host AHEPA awards
- 8 May 2013 | 13 Votes
- 15 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 8 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 3 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 22 May 2013 | 8 Votes
- 13 May 2013 | 8 Votes
NSW government donated of $29,450 to the Greek Orthodox Parish and Community of the Holy Apostles
The businessman hopes to bring international interest to the complex
Essendon will be trying to make up for last week's abysmal loss to Brisbane
"Some kids get their parents' jewellery or record collections as hand-me-downs. Mum gave me this name." Melon Fouraki
crackdown on the self-reporting loophole for illicit drug use
Whincup claimed a comfortable victory in the second race
Multicultural women are falling below the state average of Australian women screened for breast cancer
Round seven of NSW League Two preview
Sooner or later, community indifference and the plurality of other options will place our language's existence within the National Curriculum in jeopardy
From its humble beginnings, telecommunications company Star21 is growing nationally and services big names like Crown Casino and Metricon Homes
Greece finishes up in sixth place at this year's Eurovision Song Contest with Denmark taking the top gong.
Greek shipowners have chosen Chinese shipyards for the construction of at least 60 percent of the new vessels ordered in the last few years.
Taxpayers with just one source of annual income will not need to submit an income tax declaration as of next year according to the draft of the new tax code
Marcos Rojas will join the German team and leave behind his team of two years, Melbourne Victory
Technical terminology is okay if it provides shorthand for complex ideas, explains Mark Bouris
Kathy Tsaples has written more than a cook book; Sweet Greek is a celebration of the Greek Australians who migrated to this country, and a lasting legacy for all her children
The Hellenic Women's Federation of Victoria will be holding a flower filled event for May Day
Open to the general public, the lecture by professor Vrasidas Karalis is a highlight in the Brisbane lecture series