- Jewish Learning
This dish is a Passover and Rosh Hashanah favorite in many Sephardic households, corresponding to the time when the largest supply of lamb is available.
The younger the animal, the more tender the meat and delicate the flavor. When choosing lamb, look for meat that is a lighter red than beef with a bright, pink color; a fine-grained texture; bright white fat; and soft pinkish bones. A darker color indicates a more mature animal. A whole shoulder of lamb weighs 4–6 pounds; a boned shoulder weighs about 30 percent less, 3–4 pounds. Since bone conducts heat, the cooking time for boned lamb is actually longer.
Check out our complete collection of Rosh Hashanah recipes for mains, sides, soups, desserts, and more inspiration for the holiday.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut slits in the surface of the lamb and insert a garlic sliver into each slit. Rub with the oil, salt, and pepper.
Place in a shallow roasting pan. Roast, basting occasionally, until the exterior is browned and the interior is slightly pink, about 15 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit for rare (about 60 to 75 minutes) or 160 degrees Fahrenheit for medium, about 75 to 90 minutes.
Let the roast stand 10 minutes before carving.
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