Along with the Easter Bunny, Easter eggs and Easter parades, there is the traditional Easter dinner usually enjoyed at home after church services.
Depending on family preferences, Easter dinner has often meant serving ham as the main course. That said, lamb has become a popular favorite along with roast pork and even filet mignon. Food For Thought asked three local meat markets to weigh in on Easter dinner choices with their customers.
Town Meat Market, Garden City
Town Meat Market has been serving the Garden City community for over 50 years and owner Richard Spoering knows his clientele well enough to predict what he will sell out of this Easter. “Lamb is number one. People order either a leg of lamb or rack of lamb,” he said. After lamb, he says it’s “a tie” between ham and fillet mignon roasts for Easter dinner. He adds that all his meat is “stamped prime,” which a visit to his walk-in refrigerator confirms. Town Meat Market offers a full Easter menu (order early) and will stuff a leg of lamb for you with either their savory spinach or herb dressing. If you want to roast your own, keep it simple, says Spoering. A trio of dry seasonings - salt, garlic and fresh rosemary - should do the trick.
Iavarone Bros. Wantagh
A fourth generation gourmet food provider, Chris Iavarone says in his store boneless leg of lamb is the top choice for Easter dinner, followed by fresh ham and stuffed pork roast. He also gets requests for their boneless pork roast stuffed with prosciutto, provolone, parsley and Locatelli Romano. Popular side dishes include “grilled asparagus with sun dried tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower oreganata, spinach and artichoke casserole and mini vegetable patties.” They will also do a sumptuous four-course dinner serving 10-14 people for $349.
Suburbia Prime Meat Meat, Merrick
Owner David Feldman says spiral hams are “very big” during the Christmas season but for Easter dinner, it’s all about the boneless leg of lamb at Suburbia Prime Meat Market. A fixture in Merrick for over 50 years, Suburbia offers a wide range of cuisine choices and a full deli at wallet-friendly prices. When asked what the next most popular choice for Easter dinner is with his customers after lamb, Feldman says it’s a tie between crown roast of pork and fresh ham.
Rosemary and Reggiano Encrusted Rack of Lamb by Iavarone Brothers
4 half racks of American spring lamb (Frenched)
1 cup Dijon mustard
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 lb grated Reggiano Parmigiano
1 lb Panko breadcrumbs
1 pinch black pepper
1 ounce of salt
Begin by making your crust. In a bowl add your panko breadcrumbs, chopped fresh rosemary (discarding the stems), salt, pepper and grated Reggiano Parmigiano, mix well. Then take frenched racks of lamb and brush on Dijon mustard. Begin dipping racks of lamb into breadcrumb mixture. Preheat oven to 475 degrees and cook the racks of lamb for 15 minutes to ensure they are medium rare. Yields 4 servings.