Easter Lamb

A different lamb which was slain, helped with our Easter supper!

Yah…. I know… he looks a little like a George Washington Sphinx. 

In verdant pastures…

Speaking of lamb…

Start with a base of thinly sliced potatoes with onions and herbs… in this case thyme and rosemary.

Build it in layers.

Then put on top the nice big juicy leg of lamb, seasoned.

Into the oven.

The result sometime later…

Then it is tented with foil.

And finished…

Feeds: Four very hungry priests and leaves lots of left overs.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Lirioroja says:

    Mmm… *drool*

  2. joebe says:

    Mint jelly with that?

  3. Scott says:

    Thats mouth watering.
    Was the lamb off the farm? I remember growing up on the farm and would wonder where some of my pet lambs had gone too. They were probably in the freezer if not roasting in the oven

  4. David Osterloh says:

    per your first three pictures, to quote an icon of our generation, Saturday Night Live,
    Oh No Mr Bill ;>)

  5. So cruel! Only six more days, and meat and dairy! Although the first thing I’m doing on Pascha is going to our neighborhood Austrian restaurant for a piece of apfel strudel. Ah …

  6. Fr. Anthony says:

    OK, Father, I think it\’s better than our effort (cf. link in my happy Easter comment to you – http://pagesperso-orange.fr/civitas.dei/reflections04.09.htm under Easter Sunday).

    We all ate well, and like you and the 3 other priests, we have plenty of leftovers in the fridge.

    God bless,

    Fr. Anthony

  7. PMcGrath says:

    How much is “sometime later”? And how many degrees?

  8. Mmmmmm !
    Looks very good… the butter lamb sculpture was a clever idea (a gift, no doubt).

    We had “City Ham”, brussels sprouts and au gratin potatoes.

  9. Jack says:


  10. Central Valley says:

    So Fr., what did the four of you wash that down with before, during and after that fine meal????

  11. Jason says:

    Father, you do know how to prepare good food! mmmmmmmm. And lamb is certainly more traditional than, say, ham for Easter. Very nice.

  12. It seems to me that you made one heck of a lamb
    yesterday for your confreres, Father.

    As I wrote the other day in your blog, it is traditional
    in Eastern Europe to roast the lamb over a spit and then
    divide it among the villagers or the members of the
    extended family. Each family generally slaughtered its
    own lamb on Friday and then prepared it on Saturday

  13. Central: How did we wash it down?


  14. michael r. says:

    Looks great. I have the same question as PMcGrath: “sometime later” ….. how much later???

  15. Michael says:

    Father, I suggest to St.Peter the following punishment for you in the Purgatory: a plate of good food and a bottle on a desk, and you chained and able to watch only.

  16. Dave Pawlak says:

    Are those Brussels sprouts I see? I thought Lent was over…

  17. Looks absolutely delicious. We had lamb too (boneless leg) – the first time I’ve ever prepared it. I used a marinade of two parts red wine to one part vegetable oil, chopped shallots, rosemary and thyme. Very delicious, but next time I shall have to try your potato-and-onion bed.

    At what temperature(s) did you roast it and how late in the roast did you tent it?

  18. Stephanie says:

    Sorry, Fr. Z, at first I thought that lamb was made of white chocolate – and then I saw you melting it in with the brussels sprouts. EWWWWW. It took me too long to figure out that it was, in fact, butter.

  19. Noel says:

    hmmmm – enough for four priests – and some. Looks ravishing.

  20. Tony says:

    Father –

    Could you do all of the Phillies phans among your readers a solid, and offer a Mass at some point this week for the repose of the soul of Harry Kalas? In case you don’t know, he died this afternoon in the booth, getting ready for today’s game.

    Thanks, and God bless you on this beautiful Easter day.

  21. ALL: I wasn’t the only or even the primary cook for the lamb. It was a cooperative venture! Division of labor can work!

  22. Barb says:

    Have you ever read the book “How Christ said the first Mass”? I forget the author but it is a wonderful treatment
    of the paschal sacrifice of the jews in Jesus’s day. I personally never had lamb before. I am curious as
    to how it tastes.

    Fiat Voluntas Tua

  23. I’d say it is more gamy than what Americans may be used to, Barb, but delicious if done right.

  24. Josephus muris saliensis says:

    Could not work out why you were melting a white chocolate lamb in the sprouts, then the penny dropped! But, if the later photo is anything to go by, I saw the thyme, but you forgot the rosemary. I love ‘pommes boulangères’, do you call it that in the States too? It is so named because the poor of the towns in pre-revolutionary France took their dish of lamb and potatoes to be cooked in the cooling ovens of the official bakers.

    Happy Easter! Surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

    Resp to “Barb”: Fr James Meagher. And go and eat some lamb, during this holy week of Easter.

  25. Ellen says:

    Apropos of sheep, I live in the Diocese of Owensboro and the Catholic church there has spawned a very interesting barbeque tradition. Barbecued mutton. It’s about the only place in the USA where you can find it, and every parish in Owensboro has a barbeque in the summer as a fund raiser.

  26. Try stuffing it with garlic and marinading in orange juice

  27. PaulJason says:


    We also had lamb I did it on the grill.

    I made a marinade of coriander, cloves, pepper corns, anise, dried chilies (seeds and all), honey, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. Roast the whole spices and chilies in a skillet once they smoke remove and grind in mortar then add to the honey, vinegar, and olive oil and placed it in the frig. Then I butchered and rolled out the whole leg, then placed it in a shallow glass dish. I poured the marinade over then lamb and worked it by hand very well, then covered and refrigerated overnight. The next morning (after Mass) I set up the grill with a five pound bag of charcoal on one side once the coals ash over I covered the grill and let it get hot. Once the grill was hot I placed the lamb on the opposite side of the coals fat side down and left uncovered to brown the fat side. After around ten minutes I turned the lamb to the flesh side and let it cook another ten minutes with the cover on. After the ten minutes I removed the cover and stood with the lamb until it reached temp, I then put it on a platter and let it rest about ten minutes.

    It was served with a Tzatziki potato salad, asparagus, and a strawberry-spinach salad. Yumm…

  28. Here was our butter agnus led to the slaughter at Our Lady of Spring Bank:


  29. little gal says:

    “I remember growing up on the farm and would wonder where some of my pet lambs had gone too. They were probably in the freezer if not roasting in the oven.”

    And this is why some of us prefer to live in the city…we go to the supermarket to get our meat and can remain blissfully ignorant that dinner was once Bambi or Lambchop or Elsie the cow.

  30. WG says:

    Sure beats the 1/2 leftover burrito I had for Easter lunch!

  31. Matt says:

    lil gal–

    I agree, ignorance is bliss. Although city folk don’t have a great sense of humor about these things: my son Ethan regularly sings “Ethan had a a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb. Ethan had a little lamb and it was quite delicious” at the meat counter. He gets very strange looks.

    Father Z, ‘fess up on the details for the lamb: weight, time and temp, please!

  32. Girgadis says:


    I got the giggles seeing the photo of the butter lamb getting cooked.
    We always have a butter lamb on our table at Easter but I think my kids
    would be traumatized for life if I cooked it. We can\’t even cut the head
    off without protests.

  33. Ron says:

    Brussels Sprouts = Sufficient Proof for the existence of God

  34. dymphna says:

    When I was a child I was very thankful that Jesus used bread and wine for the eucharist becuase cooked lamb tastes so horrible. Of course, I hated mushrooms and spinach back then and like both things now so maybe I should give lamb another shot.

  35. Lamb is almost something you need to grow up with to appreciate. I was raised on it, but not middle-eastern with the mint. Rather, garlic, oregano, olive oil, lemon juice, and S&P.

    I slow roast it or throw it in my smoker.

    You gotta love those de-boned legs of lamb. It makes for a nice even piece of meat – large and rectangular.

  36. Charlie says:

    Looks delicious, Father. I had lamb for the first time early last week, as part of our parish’s Seder meal.

  37. “Could not work out why you were melting a white chocolate lamb in the sprouts”

    LOL! It’s a maslo, one of the traditional things found in a Pascha Basket, blessed on Pascha afternoon (along with kielbasi, etc.) I’m sure you could easily find maslo molds online. They’re an Eastern Pascha tradition.

  38. irishgirl says:

    Ooooo, that looks good, Fr. Z!

    I had to laugh about the butter lamb-I thought it was white chocolate, too!

    I ate lamb only once-at the hotel I stayed in Lisieux, France in 1991. ‘Cote d’agneau’ in French-lamb chops. They were so good I had them twice in a row, and asked the waiter to compliment the chef on them!

  39. I am not Spartacus says:

    Central: How did we wash it down?

    Wow. A Margaux over a decade old.

    Fr. Z. you are my hero.

    BTW, Richard Nixon’s favorite wine was Chateau Marguax

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