Preparation / Directions:
Simple ethnic recipes, unchanged for generations, often have an authority that the latest food fashions cannot begin to match. The following Greek lemon lamb dish is a case in point. Faithful to its frugal origins. this recipe works equally well with cheap cuts like lamb shanks. breast of lamb or best end of neck. If you do use these fattier meals, make the dish a day ahead, refrigerate it and remove the fat that coagulates on top. if anything, the dish gains added depth of flavor when made ahead and reheated.
Trim skin and ail excess fat from a boned shoulder or leg of lamb. Squeeze enough lemons to provide 1/3 cup of juice. Open out the meat and rub both inside and outside surfaces with some of the lemon juice and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. On the inside surface of the meat, sprinkle a teaspoon of dried oregano or 1/2 a tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano. Roll the meat up and tie securely.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pot large enough to take the roll comfortably and brown the meat on all sides. Turn the heat down to low and add to the pot the rest of the lemon juice, 2 cloves of garlic, crushed, and another teaspoon of dried oregano or 1/2 tablespoon of fresh.
Cover the pot and simmer very gently, turning occasionally, for about 2 1/2 hours, till very tender. If you like, add small new potatoes to the pot about an hour before serving.
To serve, remove the string and slice the meat into the center of a heated serving platter. Surround with potatoes and pour lemony juices over the meat.
From "Raw Materials" by Meryl Constance, The Sydney Morning Herald, 10/6/92. Courtesy Mark Herron.