Roasted lamb infused with pomegranate juice and finished with a bright gremolata is the perfect centerpiece for the Easter table. The ingredients celebrate the gift of life everlasting.
The quintessential symbol of sacrifice and renewal, lamb pays homage to our Judeo-Christian roots and honors Jesus — the Lamb of God — redeemer of the world.
“You were ransomed … not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb” (1 Pt 1 18-19).
The pomegranate, a lesser-known symbol of the resurrection, appears several times in the Old Testament as a sign of good life and abundance.
Christian artwork celebrates the ancient fruit as a metaphor for the fullness of Christ’s suffering and his promise of eternal life. When broken open, a multitude of seeds burst forth giving new life.
Pomegranate Marinated Lamb Roast with Gremolata
4½-5 pound boneless leg of lamb, netted or tied
For the marinade:
½ cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
¼ cup port wine or other red wine
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ large yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
For the gremolata:
½ bunch fresh Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped
15-20 fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
Zest of 1 lemon
Pomegranate arils (optional, see note)
Start the evening before to allow meat to marinate overnight. Puree the marinade ingredients in a blender.
Place the lamb in a large zip-top plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal bag and massage it lightly so marinade is distributed all over the roast. Place it in a bowl and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, remove lamb from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Remove lamb from marinade and wipe off any excess liquid. Place the meat fat side up on the rack of a roasting pan.
Roast at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes. The lamb should come to an internal temperature of 130 degrees for medium rare.
Remove the roast from the oven and carefully turn it fat-side down to redistribute its juices. Let rest for 20 minutes.
While the roast rests, prepare the gremolata ingredients and mix together in a serving bowl.
Slice the roast and serve the gremolata alongside.
Note: Pomegranate fruit is usually not available in the U.S. in spring. If the fruit is obtainable, add a handful of pomegranate seeds to the gremolata.