Now that I have been married to my wonderful Greek husband for 20 years, it is normal for me to eat lamb on every special occasion. Growing up we NEVER ate lamb. Christmas, Easter…it was always ham, turkey, or roast beef. To share a funny story, for around 8 years before meeting Demetrius, I was a vegetarian. (He was appalled when he found this out, but to his credit, handled it very well) It was Pascha when he brought me over to his parents house to get to know his family. You guessed it…the main course was lamb. I wanted to make a good impression and from that day forward I’ve been eating meat again.
This memory always reminds me of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
What? You don’t eat meat? That’s ok, I make lamb! (clip provided for your enjoyment 🙂
Now I understand that I probably had thyroid issues even back then, and am glad that God brought Demetrius and lamb into my life. Anyone with a thyroid or autoimmune issue can benefit from the essential building blocks found in meat which can be difficult to get from other sources. And, since I didn’t know then what I know now, my vegetarian diet was not as healthy as it could have been. As with beef, make sure your lamb is grass-fed and organic to get the most health benefits!
Grass-fed lamb contains the most vitamin D of all types of meat. Vitamin D stimulates your T cells and teaches your immune system not to attack your body’s own cells. It also helps you fight off viral and bacterial infections, which can trigger or make autoimmune conditions worse. I found this out from Dr. Amy Myers, who is an expert in autoimmunity! I also learned from her that lamb is also a good source of the following nutrients:
Here’s how I make mine:
One leg of grass-fed lamb (bone in!)
Sea Salt and Pepper
The day before, make small slits with a knife all over the lamb, and poke slices of garlic cloves in the slits. Squeeze lemon juice all over the lamb. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano. (Sometimes I have put about 8 garlic cloves, juice of a lemon, 1 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tablespoon of oregano and some olive oil into a food processor and made a paste which I rubbed all over the lamb. It seems to turn out the same either way)
Refrigerate the lamb uncovered until the next day.
Take the lamb out about one hour prior to cooking to bring close to room temp. Pre-heat oven to 350.
Add two cups or so of water to the bottom of the pan, and roast the lamb for 30 minutes per pound. Peek at it a couple times so that you can tent it with foil if it starts getting too brown, and adjust the liquid in the bottom of the pan if needed. By the time the buzzer goes off, you should see the meat separating from the bone. Take it out, let it rest for about 30 minutes, then slice.
So what are you having for Christmas dinner? This is making me think about when I need to take my lamb out of the freezer! We’re a week away!