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Corfu Recipes - Spit-Roast Easter Lamb

This page gives you the opportunity to re-create some of your favourite Corfiot taverna recipes at home. This time, Spit-roast Easter Lamb. Most Corfiot families spit-roast a lamb or goat over an open fire on Easter Sunday and it forms the centrepiece of the day's feasting.

Corfu Recipes - Spit-Roast Easter Lamb

Ingredients - To serve 6-8 persons you will need a lamb that weighs about 6 kg. Lemons. Salt and pepper. Oregano. Thyme.

Instructions - On Easter Sunday the fire is lit at about 7.00 am to ensure that the wood is reduced to glowing embers by the time the roasting starts. The lamb or goat, having been properly cleaned, is rubbed with lemon all over its skin and seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano and thyme both outside and inside. Then the souvla, the long round iron stick, having also been properly cleaned and rubbed with lemon, is passed through the animal from one end and out through the head. The back feet are secured by passing one through the muscle of the other and are then tied with wire. It is also recommanded to tie the spine of the lamb to the spit with wire. An iron pole with a forked end is inserted into the earth each side the fire and the spit laid across them. At the beginning of the roasting session the lamb should be about 60-70 cm above the fire. Later the poles are lowered and this height reduced to about 30-40 cm. The long iron spit ends in a handle and members of the family take it in turns to sit and turn it almost continually. (Nowadays there are actually electric motors that can perform this task.) While the meat is cooking a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and oregano is brushed over the lamb. A lamb of this size takes about 4 hours to cook. It is vital that the lamb cooks very slowly, even if it takes a bit longer. A clear indication that it is nearly cooked is when the flesh shrinks away from the bones. The fleshy parts (legs and shoulders) take longer to cook, so most of the glowing embers are dragged to the two ends, making two small piles to give those parts the extra heat they require. Serve with lots of fresh seasonal salad, taramasalata, melitzanosalata (aubergine salad) and the traditional red-dyed hard boiled eggs.

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