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There's nothing like Greek roast lamb and potatoes. In Greece, meat (lamb, beef, chicken) and potatoes in the oven is an ubiquitous dish throughout the winter. Upon my most recent visit to Athens, my aunt let me in on a secret that takes this traditional roast lamb to another level. Instead of the usual lemon juice, she said, add the juice of one orange. I tried this upon my return home and it is absolutely delicious! It may be awhile before I go back to lemons -- and this dish is as delicious as it is simple.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
1 hr
total:
1 hr 30 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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This Greek roast lamb recipe is the real deal and what you'll find served in Greek homes throughout winter, though it is a must for Greek Orthodox Easter, as well. Get the full recipe below and read on for some tips and tricks that will ensure a succulent result, every time.

Recipe Tips

Greek roast lamb and potatoes is a traditional dish that's wonderfully simple to make. Some homes in Greece prefer the simplicity of lamb, salt, pepper, and maybe some oregano or garlic, while others like the flavor trifecta of lemon juice, garlic, and oregano. A lesser known secret is to flavor the roast lamb and potatoes with fresh orange juice and mustard in addition to salt, pepper, and garlic. The result is savory with an ever-so-slight hint of sweetness, yet the flavors of orange and mustard never overpower or dominate.

There are a few keys to getting this simple dish to be the best it can be:

Fresh is best
Use freshly squeezed orange juice for the best flavor. In an absolute pinch, you could try bottled orange juice, but note it won't yield the same delicious result.

The type of potato matters
For Greek roast lamb and potatoes, you want a creamy potato that almost melts in your mouth. Dry, starchy potatoes just won't work. The only potatoes I use for this dish are yellow potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes.

Watch the oregano
For anyone who loves oregano, there's always the temptation to add more. But this is really a case of where there can be too much of a good thing! Adding too much oregano will make your dish bitter, so avoid the temptation of adding more. Also, try to make sure you use Greek oregano here (as opposed to Mexican or another variety) for the most authentic flavor.

About the lamb...
I call for a bone-in leg of lamb rather than boneless because the bone lends a lot of flavor to the final dish. If you prefer to use boneless leg of lamb, go for it! Just be sure that your lamb reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F; you can remove the lamb from the oven at 135 degrees F and allow it to rest till it reaches 145.

Editorial contributions by Diana Moutsopoulos.

Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

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  • In large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, mustard, olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir the potatoes into the bowl to coat with orange juice mixture. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon, and place them into a large roasting pan.

  • Cut slits into the lamb meat, and stuff the garlic cloves into the slits. Rub remaining orange juice mixture from bowl all over the lamb, and place the lamb on top of the potatoes in the roasting pan. If there's any remaining orange juice mixture, pour it over the lamb.

  • Roast in the preheated oven until the potatoes are tender and the lamb is cooked to medium, about 1 hour. A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat should read 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). Check every 30 minutes while roasting, and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of hot water if you find the potatoes are drying out. If the lamb finishes cooking before the potatoes, remove the lamb to a cutting board or serving platter and cover with foil while the potatoes continue to bake in the oven.

Tips

You can follow the same recipe and use beef or chicken for this dish. Note that almost any mustard works well here, but I prefer a dark brown or Dijon mustard.

Nutrition Facts

912 calories; protein 51.4g; carbohydrates 103.2g; fat 32.5g; cholesterol 137.1mg; sodium 311.6mg. Full Nutrition
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