Tender Braised Lamb for Passover and Easter

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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.

Braised Rosemary Lamb with Vegetables
Serves 12
Of the lamb itself, the author writes, "Who knew so few ingredients could result in such an elegant and savory entree? One bite will make this no-fuss main dish memorable." The large selection of vegetables makes this the best spring one-pot holiday meal we have found.
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
2 hr 40 min
Total Time
3 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
2 hr 40 min
Total Time
3 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup olive oil
  2. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 1 tablespoon kosher salt and pepper
  4. 3 fresh rosemary sprigs cut into one inch lengths
  5. 1 6 pounds of rolled lamb
  6. 8 medium potatoes cut into eighths
  7. 1 onion cut into eighths
  8. 8 quartered mushrooms
  9. 2 parsnips peeled and cut into eighths
  10. 3 turnips peeled and cut into eighths
  11. 3 carrots peeled and cut into eighths
  12. 1 leek cut into one inch lengths
  13. 3 celery stalks cut into 1 inch pieces
  14. 2 cups total of any combination of white grape juice, chicken broth, and balsamic vinaigrette
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Instructions
  1. In a bowl roll the lamb in oil and garlic, sprinkle salt and over all surfaces and rub over lamb.
  2. 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)
  3. Brown the meat on one side for 5–10 minutes, then add add the vegetables and liquid
  4. 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
  5. or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°)
  6. Remove roast and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.
  7. Remove vegetables, serve with sliced lamb drizzled with pan juices
Notes
  1. 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
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Adapted from Matthew Lawrence, Vashon, Washington
Voice of Scouting https://voiceofscouting.org/
Grains like wheat, spelt, barley, oats and rye, collectively as chometz, are not used during Passover week for fear of natural leavening when liquids are added. However,  Rabbi Moshe Elefant said“There is nothing wrong about a raised product at Passover per se,” at least not one made with minerals like are found in baking powder. Lise Stern, author of “How to Keep Kosher” explains it more: “Chometz, which means sharp or sour, denotes bread that has a sourness to it caused by fermentation, occurring when liquid is added to any of the five grains mentioned in the Torah. This refers to yeast, not baking powder or baking soda.”

It looks like these divine, light biscuits can make it to either a Seder or Easter Table.

EasyLight and Tender Cream Biscuits
Yields 12
This is easily the simplest way to make biscuits camping, unless of course you love the taste of boxed mixes like Jiffy or Bisquick. Personally nothing can compare to my brother's biscuits!
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour, (plus more for dusting)
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  5. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
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If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. 1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  2. 2. Add heavy cream and stir gently with a wooden spoon until dry ingredients are just moistened.
  3. 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. 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. 5. Bake the biscuits in a hot oven until risen and golden, about 12-15 minutes.
  6. 6. Let cool slightly and serve warm.
Notes
  1. CAUTION: This requires minimal mixing, which reduces the risk of too much gluten developing and making the biscuits tougher.
  2. Heavy cream provides the butterfat giving the biscuits tenderness and flavor, as well as moisture.
Print
Adapted from Marissa Sertich Velie
Voice of Scouting https://voiceofscouting.org/
Best of all, this meal can open discussion with your Scouts on faith traditions. Muslims, Jews, and Christians all have Abrahamic origins and use the story of bondage in Egypt, the Passover and delivery from it as part of their faith. These foods have religious symbolism that can promote understanding; eating a good meal around a campfire, discussing common beliefs can be an amazing experience for your Scouts.  

(Dr. Mathew Stone wrote “The Passover of Jews,Christian, and Muslims.He explains what happened when he brought all three faiths together at his church for a Passover meal.)
 

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Skyler Hunter
Skyler Hunter is a Marketing Associate and videographer for the Utah National Parks Council. He attends Brigham Young University as an Advertising Major. He is from San Jose, California.

One comment

  1. Darryl Alder
    Darryl Alder ( User Karma: 9 ) says:

    This was a scrumptious meal for Good Friday, but I kept leftovers for Easter and there were raves for it. I suggest anytime you can afford lamb to try this and my brother’s cream biscuits make the plate complete. BTW you will need to double the biscuit recipe, everyone will want more.

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