Seder Braised Lamb

>> Monday, March 25, 2013

Seder Braised Lamb

Joe combined several authentic Jewish recipes for a Seder lamb when we cooked for our church group, who celebrates a Christian Seder dinner each year. We also braised a six-pound beef brisket and baked a yeast lemon bread on the same day, which taxed Joe's ingenuity and the capacity of our oven. Obviously a yeast bread isn't allowed for a Jewish Seder, but our small group generally tries to respect the Jewish traditions while still enjoying other foods.

Lamb for a traditional Seder is never roasted, but always cooked with liquid. Joe rubbed the meat with garlic, parsley, thyme, mint, and salt and let it marinate for a couple of hours before cooking it. At the end of the cooking time, this meat was fork-tender and fragrant with herbs.

Seder Braised Lamb


For the marinade

8 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed, and coarsely chopped
1 tbsp dried mint, or 2 tbsp fresh mint
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tbsp coarse salt
2 tbsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 lb leg of lamb (or lamb shoulder)

Marinade instructions

Place the garlic, rosemary, mint, salt, and oil in a blender or food processor. Finely blend the ingredients. Spread the mixture on all sides of the lamb and let it marinade for at least an hour. You can marinate it in the refrigerator a day ahead and save time on your cooking day, but if you do, let it rise to room temperature before beginning to cook it.

For the lamb

2 tbsp oil
1 cup onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup parsley, chopped and divided
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped (or 1 tsp dried tarragon)


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

In a large casserole or roasting pan, heat the half the oil then brown the lamb on all sides, usually about 5 minutes per side, then remove and set aside. Add the rest of the oil and saute the onions and garlic until tender. Return the lamb to the pan. Stir together the lemon juice, broth, and wine, and pour over the lamb. Sprinkle with the tarragon and half of the parsley.

Cover the lamb and place it in the oven. Braise it over low heat for 4 hours, remove the lid and braise for 1 more hour. Remove from the oven, place the meat on a cutting board, and cover it with foil.

Strain the liquid in the pan and then siphon off as much fat as possible. Heat the cooking broth in a saucepan while slicing the meat across the grain. Sprinkle the rest of the parsley and tarragon over the meat before serving, and serve the cooking broth on the side for drizzling.

Serves 8-12, depending on the size of the meat.


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