Friday, April 6, 2012

Maundy Thursday 2012


We did not make it to church for Maundy Thursday Mass. Dinner was a little delayed since we were making roast leg of lamb and unleavened bread. It took longer than we thought so neither my wife nor I were able to slip out to church before the bedtime routine started. In the interest of sharing, here's our food and recipes:

Marinating lamb and dough ball, i.e. the meal before cooking

The grilled lamb recipe we use (I don't remember where we stole it from [UPDATE--we stole it from the blog post for grilled butterflied leg of lamb and I have modified the text so it isn't an exact duplicate of the wording of her recipe (it's still the same ingredients and procedure, so don't worry, but go check out the blog anyway, there's lots of good recipes there])...

  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp fresh or 1 Tbsp dried rosemary leaves
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 boneless leg of lamb (5-6 pounds) butterflied

  1. Put first six ingredients (onion to olive oil) in a food processor. Pulse to combine. (No food processor? Chop the onions, garlic, and rosemary very fine and combine with the other ingredients in a bowl.)
  2. Sprinkle a lot of salt and pepper over the leg of lamb. Put marinade and lamb in a 1-gallon freezer bag. Be sure the marinade gets on all sides of the meat. Close the bag and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  3. Remove lamb from the refrigerator and let it return to room temperature (this should take about 20 mins). When ready for grilling, remove the meat from the gallon bag. To help turning the lamb on the grill, put two skewers through the meat crosswise.
  4. Prepare the grill. For a charcoal grill, use "banked" grilling--have a double layer of colas on one side and a sparse single layer on the other. For a gas grill, turn all the burners to high at the start. After the meat is browned you reduce the heat.
  5. Put the lamb (fat side down) on the grill on the double layer side (which is hotter). If flareups happen (which they probably will) have a squirt bottle or some cups of water for flame control. (the blogger's brother shakes a bottle of beer to squirt the coals when they flare up!) Sear on one side for four minutes, flip the lamb over and sear the other side for four more minutes. Then for a charcoal grill, move the lamb to the other side of the grill (with the sparse coals). For a gas grill, set the heat to low. The temperature should stay at 300-350°F. Cover the grill and cook for another 35 to 45 minutes until a meat thermometer registers at least 130°F in the thickest part (that results in a medium rare roast).
  6. Move the meat to a cutting board with a well to collect the juices. Cover with foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove skewers if applicable. Cutting across the grain, make 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices. Serve on a warm platter with meat juices poured over the slices. The blogger recommends serving with mint jelly or horseradish. The meat should serve 8-10 people.
Our modifications:
  • We didn't need to serve 8-10, so we had a 0.86 kilo (1.9 lbs.) butterfly cut from the lamb's leg. In case you don't know, a butterfly cut has the bone removed and leaves a layer of fat on one side of the meat. Cooking still took 35 minutes.
  • I forgot the skewers. Since the cut was smaller, it was easier to turn on the grill. I think last year we had a four pound cut and the skewers helped a lot.
  • We left our food processor behind (having the wrong plug for UK outlets) so I chopped stuff up. It wasn't too hard but it also wasn't as fast.
  • No mint jelly or horseradish for us. Also, we don't have the cutting board with a well, so we used a plate.
  • We didn't waste any beer on flareups on the grill. Using fingers to sprinkle water from a cup worked fine for me.
Roasting on the "cool" side of the grill

For the bread, we used a recipe from a church group we used to belong to. They make their own bread for the Eucharist, from a very simple recipe...

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (King Arthur brand is what they insisted on)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (very warm, i.e. as close to boiling as you can stand)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (~140 Celsius)
  2. Mix the ingredients
  3. Knead the dough until it is soft (at least 10 minutes)
  4. Roll out dough into a circle shape about half an inch thick
  5. Put on a cookie sheet and poke the bread with a needle or toothpick in several places
  6. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, flipping it every ten minutes
 Our modifications:
  • My time on kneading the dough was a little inconsistent since I was going back and forth with the grill at the same time.
  • I forgot to poke the dough. I remembered when I first went to flip it and saw air bubbles forming. I poked the half-cooked dough and that seemed to do the trick, so don't despair if you forget.
Not very circular but still satisfying

We also had one of those pre-mixed-and-washed salad bags as our "bitter herbs" in imitation of the Passover meal/Last Supper. I forgot to get some Kosher wine. We continued with our currently open bottle of wine.

Both the lamb and the bread turned out very well. Jacob was reluctant to try it but said he liked it (even though he only ate the one bite). Lucy was much more enthusiastic, eating several subsequent bites. They both used dipping sauce for the lamb--our favorite barbeque sauce.

We always think we should make lamb more often since it is so tender and delicious. Now that we are in England, we have lots more reminders around us that lamb is an option not to be overlooked.


  1. Hi there. I noticed that you have published my recipe for grilled leg of lamb. Would you please be so kind as to 1) credit the source with a link back to my site here: (It's my brother Matthew who is referenced in the instructions, and 2) write the instructions in your own unique words, not just copying and pasting mine. The problem is that Google is penalizing sites when they see duplicate content like this, making it more difficult for people to find my recipes using Google search. Thank you so much for your consideration!

  2. Thanks for getting in touch. I honestly didn't remember where we got the recipe. I've posted a link to your blog and did the rewording. It's an awesome recipe, we've used it many times!