Easter is upon us once more, and it brings back memories of the Easter meals back on the block. In Spanish Harlem it was either pernil (roast pork shoulder) or lamb. In my family, we preferred lamb (we had the pernil at Christmas). I didn’t find out about roast Smithfield ham for the holiday (as is popular in some Anglo households) until I left the block and my horizons expanded.

Today, lamb is still our favored dish for this time of year, and I’m always on the lookout for unique ways to prepare it. The recipe given below is Glazed Leg of lamb. The recipe itself is simple enough: we make slits in the lamb and stuff it with slivers of garlic; then we marinated it overnight in a mix of salt, pepper, turmeric and olive oil. When the lamb is roasted, the glaze used is a mix of apple jelly, rosemary and lemon juice. We serve the dish with sweet potatoes (yams). It makes for a great Easter meal or, for anytime you want that special leg of lamb extravaganza.



Leg of lamb (about 5 pounds)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into slivers
1 tablespoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup apple jelly
½ teaspoon rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup butter
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 pound sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into chunks


  1. Day before cooking, rinse lamb under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. With a sharp knife make several slits in the lamb. Stud the slits with garlic slivers.
  2. In a small bowl, combine turmeric, salt, pepper and olive oil. Brush mixture over entire leg of lamb. Wrap lamb in aluminum foil, place in fridge and marinate overnight.
  3. Next day, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  4. Place lamb in a shallow roasting pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer registers 175 degrees for medium doneness.
  5. Meanwhile, combine jelly, rosemary and lemon juice in small saucepan. Brush on lamb during last hour of roasting time.


  1. Combine butter, brown sugar and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Stir and cook over low heat until well blended.
  2. Pour butter mixture over sweet potatoes and arrange around lamb; and continue baking for the last 30 minutes of roasting time. Arrange on a serving platter and serve.
    Yield: 6 or more servings.