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Leg of Lamb Photo by: Google Images

Delicious Irish Easter recipes for the special day

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Leg of Lamb Photo by: Google Images

Here are some very special Easter recipes from the folks at Irishcultureandcustoms.com.

As they explain, in old Ireland, Easter Sunday was a day of great celebration, not the least of which was the blessed relief from the abstinence of meat for nearly two months.

Here, you can take your pick from lamb or ham. Following the main dish recipes is a perfect vegetable accompaniment to any spring-time dinner menu. And for "afters" - the Irish word for dessert  their resident Irish recipe collectors and contributors offer a delightful suggestion.

Garlic-ginger Roast Leg of Lamb

Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Roasting Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cooking Tip: The crust mixture can be made and spread on the lamb up to 1 day ahead. Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate.

Ingredients:

8-pound bone-in leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (optional)
1/2 teaspoons each salt and pepper
2 teaspoons each minced garlic and fresh ginger
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef broth
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Method:

1. Heat oven to 450 degree F. Have ready a large roasting pan with a rack. Place lamb on rack.

2. Mix oil, mint, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add flour and stir until blended. Spread over top and sides of the lamb.

3. Roast 30 minutes, and then reduce temperature to 325 degrees F. and roast 45 to 60 minutes longer until done as desired. {Rare: 130 F. on a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part not touching fat or bone; 140 F for medium and 150 degrees F. for medium-well}.

4. Remove to a serving platter, cover loosely with foil to keep warm and let stand 15 minutes. {As meat rests, juices redistribute and internal temperatures should rise about 10 degrees}.

5. Meanwhile spoon off and discard fat from the roasting pan. Place pan over high heat, (see note below is using a disposable foil pan), add beef broth and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil 2 minutes to reduce liquid slightly. Pour into a sauceboat and stir in lemon juice and pepper, This will make 2/3 cup to drizzle over sliced lamb. Serves 12 with leftovers.

Note: If using a foil roasting pan, bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan, pour into foil pan (do not place on burner) and stir to scrape up brown bits on bottom. Pour broth back into saucepan and boil and season as directed above.

GLAZED HAM with HORSERADISH-MUSTARD SAUCE

Preparation Time: 22 minutes
Baking Time: 2 Hours
Cooking Tip: The sauce and the Glace can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated.
Ingredients:
7-pound shank or rump-end, fully cooked bone-in smoked ham.

GLAZE:

2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

SAUCE:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons snipped chives or green part of scallions
1 teaspoon prepared white horseradish
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Method

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a shallow roasting pan rack with foil. Set a sturdy, flat metal rack in pan.

2. Cut rind off ham and trim off excess fat, if any. Place ham on rack, sut end down. Cover loosely with foil and bake 1 1/4 hours.

3. Meanwhile whisk Glaze ingredients in one small bowl and Sauce ingredients in another small bowl until blended.

4. Remove foil from ham and spread evenly with Glaze. Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part {not touching the bone} registers 140 degrees F. Let ham rest 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with the Sauce.
Serves 12 with leftovers.
Glazed Asparagus & Carrots with Pecans
A lemon glaze tops a springtime combination of fresh asparagus and carrots.

Ingredients:

1 cup water
3 large (2 cups) carrots, sliced diagonally 1/4-inch
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup Butter
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted

Method

1. Place 1 cup water in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Bring to a full boil; add carrots and asparagus. Cover; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until carrots and asparagus are crisply tender (7 to 9 minutes). Drain. Set aside; keep warm.

2. Melt butter in same skillet. Stir together cornstarch, 3 tablespoons water and lemon juice in small bowl; stir into butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens (2 to 3 minutes). Stir in lemon peel.

To serve, spoon sauce over warm carrots and asparagus. Sprinkle with pecans. Yield: 6 servings

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