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Easter dishes that are easy and elegant updates

Daniel Neman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Entertaining

What to cook for Easter? I wondered.

"Why not make rabbit legs?" said my wife. And that's why I married her.

Still, instead of contributing to bunnicide, I decided to go the traditional route: lamb. It is a springtime dish and, with its themes of death and rebirth, Easter is indisputably a holiday of the spring.

Besides, Jesus has historically been compared to both a lamb and a shepherd, so it seems religiously appropriate, too.

Besides, lamb tastes great. I know that some people turn up their noses at it and grumble that it tastes gamy, but those people have never had Lamb With Mustard and Honey — and they have certainly never had it grilled.

This is a game-changing dish in the same way that roasted Brussels sprouts was a game-changer. It will turn a lot of minds and convert a lot of anti-lamb haters.

 

Let's put it this way. For years — decades — my favorite way to make lamb was to prepare Julia Child's Herbal Mustard Coating for Roast Lamb (Gigot à la Moutarde) and then grill the meat instead of roasting it.

But I like this simple recipe even more than the one by St. Julia.

And yes, the original recipe for Lamb With Mustard and Honey also calls for it to be roasted in the oven. I grill it, because grilled lamb tastes better than oven-cooked lamb. Grilled lamb tastes better than just about anything, if you ask me. If you don't have a grill, or it isn't convenient to grill it, you can cook it in the oven and still have a transformational experience.

Amazingly, the recipe only has five ingredients — and two of them are lamb and salt. Two others are in the name: mustard (Dijon is fairly essential) and honey. The only other ingredient is dried thyme.

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