The ancient custom of sacrificing lambs on the eve of Passover and eating the meat to begin the festival ended with the destruction of the Second Temple in A.D. 70. As a mark of respect for the memory of the temple sacrifices, the eating of a whole roasted lamb on Passover is forbidden by the code of Jewish law.—A Tender Lamb Dish For a Passover Seder, NY TImes, 1988
This recipe for dutch-oven lamb, braised in white grape juice, chicken broth, and balsamic vinaigrette, leaves the meat both tender and delicious. Since lamb is expensive (at more than $9/pound) we think this is a winning recipe you’ll use again and again. Add the easy cream biscuits and your Scouts, kosher or not, will scream for more this holiday.
It not always so, but some years Easter is on the Sunday after Passover, like this year. This means Passover begins on Good Friday, so if you are camping this holiday, lamb and biscuits can be kosher but are excellent for Good Friday or Easter too.
The problem was the braising; the meat needed to be prepared the way the Jewish Orthodox Union suggests. ”…cooked in a pan with liquid.” We got our information from a New York Times story from 1988 which gave us the facts pretty quickly.
Jews who strictly interpret the rule of not eating “roasted meat or poultry of any kind for their seder.” This means that dry roasted lamb is out. However, the operative word is roasted and in most Dutch-ovens that would mean cooked without liquid. “Jews who accept a looser interpretation of the law will eat lamb” that is braised in liquid.
Challenge accepted: find a recipe for tender lamb braised in broth. Since lamb is pretty expensive (at more than $9/pound) we looked for a winning recipe. It turns out this was well worth when we made this last Friday.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt and pepper
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs cut into one inch lengths
- 1 6 pounds of rolled lamb
- 8 medium potatoes cut into eighths
- 1 onion cut into eighths
- 8 quartered mushrooms
- 2 parsnips peeled and cut into eighths
- 3 turnips peeled and cut into eighths
- 3 carrots peeled and cut into eighths
- 1 leek cut into one inch lengths
- 3 celery stalks cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups total of any combination of white grape juice, chicken broth, and balsamic vinaigrette
- In a bowl roll the lamb in oil and garlic, sprinkle salt and over all surfaces and rub over lamb.
- Place lamb, fat side up, in a large dutch oven. Skewer meat in a checkerboard pattern inserting rosemary springs as you go (see image above)
- Brown the meat on one side for 5–10 minutes, then add add the vegetables and liquid
- Bake in a covered Dutch-oven with 8 hot coals beneath and 16 on top. Maintain coals for 2-1/4 to 3 hours or
- or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°)
- Remove roast and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.
- Remove vegetables, serve with sliced lamb drizzled with pan juices
- Using pan juices, you can make gravy by whisking 1 Tsp flour to each 2/3s cup of juice. Bring to boil until thickened and serve over vegetables and meat
It looks like these divine, light biscuits can make it to either a Seder or Easter Table.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, (plus more for dusting)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- 2. Add heavy cream and stir gently with a wooden spoon until dry ingredients are just moistened.
- 3. Turn out dough onto a lighted floured work surface. Using your hands, fold it one or two times so it becomes a cohesive mass and press it down to an even ½-inch thickness.
- 4. Using a 2-inch round cookie-cutter, cut out biscuits as closely together as possible. Gather together scraps, pat down, and cut out more biscuits. Discard any remaining scraps.
- 5. Bake the biscuits in a hot oven until risen and golden, about 12-15 minutes.
- 6. Let cool slightly and serve warm.
- CAUTION: This requires minimal mixing, which reduces the risk of too much gluten developing and making the biscuits tougher.
- Heavy cream provides the butterfat giving the biscuits tenderness and flavor, as well as moisture.