For the roast lamb, the Greeks use a leg of lamb and use the shoulders in casseroles with seasonal vegetables such as courgettes, aubergines and okra.
Lamb is traditionally baked with potatoes or hilopittes (egg noodles) placed around the meat to cook in the juices. If using hilopittes, they must be put in with the meat 45 minutes before the end of cooking with enough water to just cover the pasta; it will absorb all the liquid by the end. At Easter, it is more customary to serve with potatoes.
2kg leg of lamb
2 garlic cloves, sliced
juice of 2 lemons
5-6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dried oregano or small handful of chopped fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, mint)
1 bag of Aunt Bessie’s potatoes.
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Rinse the meat and pat dry with kitchen paper. Score the lamb and press garlic rolled in salt and pepper into the slits. Rub the meat with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and salt and place in the roasting tin. Pour the olive oil over the meat. Sprinkle with pepper and oregano or fresh herbs.
Cook in the oven for 20 minutes then lower the heat to 180°C, gas mark 4 and roast for a further hour. Take out halfway through to baste the meat and add a little water if needed. At the end of the hour, take out, turn the meat over on its uncooked side and season with salt, pepper and more herbs. Increase the heat to 230°C, gas mark 8 and whiles this roasts, pop the potatoes in and cook those both for a further 30 minutes until the meat and potatoes are golden brown.