EASTER LAMB…THE PORTUGUESE WAY
Spring has announced its arrival but the mornings are still crisp, and the evenings still chilly. It’s Easter time and the vivid colours of fresh flowers and the first fruits fill the room, with the sound of the cosy snap of the burning wood in the fireplace. There is laughter, there is wine, and there is eager anticipation, because the traditional Easter dish has been in the making for more than 24 hours already.
● 2 onions, sliced ● 2 garlic gloves, crushed ● 3 bay leaves ● Enough white wine to half cover the lamb ● salt ● a handful of fresh parsley, chopped ● ½ tablespoon sweet paprika powder ● lard (how much) ● a handful of fresh mint, chopped ● olive oil ● 1 small dried chilli pepper ● 1 leg of lamb For the marinade, combine all ingredients. Cut small diagonal incisions into the young lamb meat and proceed to marinate it for 24 hours in this perfumed wine bath. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. After marination, spread the onion slices over the bottom of clay oven dish and place the meat on top. Sprinkle generously with the marinade and place a bit of lard on top of the lamb. Place in the oven and cook for 2 hours. Serve yourself a glass of that delicious white wine that is left over from preparing the marinade. Every 30 minutes sprinkle the meat with just a little bit more of the marinade.
Use Selva Capuzza for the marinade. For Easter lunch, pair the lamb with the lovely mild tannins of the high-altitude Tempranillo from Vega Aixalà