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Milk-fed Roasted Lamb

Lechazo aka Suckling Lamb

Delicacy in Castilla y León



Lechazo meat is a highly esteemed delicacy in the region.

The Spanish term lechazo refers to a young sheep that is still suckling.

Milk-fed Roasted Lamb

The meat used is from unweaned lambs, and is similar to veal, or the meat of “cochinillo” (Spanish suckling pigs like tostón asado).

The autonomous region of Castile and León has a distinctive version of lechazo referred to as “Lechazo de Castilla y Leon”. It is one of the most important dishes of the cuisine of the province of Burgos. Aranda de Duero is known as the heart of the dish, with numerous restaurants that specialize in lechazo and feature “hornos de leña”, or wooden stoves, in which the lamb is roasted in oven, with lard and water.

Per the I.G.P., lechazo de Castilla y León must be of the Churra, Castellana or Ojalada breeds, and the lambs must have been fed only their mothers’ milk.  The lamb used in lechal must derive all its nutrition from its mother’s milk, and must be no more than 35 days old and weigh between 9 and 12 kilograms at the time of slaughter.

Serves 8-10

1/2 Suckling Lamb approximately 9-11 lbs.
6 oz. lard

  1. In a small sauce pan, heat the lard until it melts. If you prefer, use a small bowl and heat in microwave oven. Heat oven to 400F°.
  2. Rinse the lamb and pat dry. Trim off excess fat and discard.
  3. Place lamb in roasting pan or other oven proof dish. (Traditionally, the Spanish use large, open clay dishes.) Rub the lamb with salt and baste with the melted lard. Place in oven to roast. Occasionally baste with lard and turn until lamb is golden brown on the outside and meat is tender.
  4. Roast potatoes are a great accompaniment to this dish. To roast potatoes, peel 8-10 small potatoes and cut in half. Place in the roasting pan around the lamb. Baste with lard when you baste the lamb.
  5. The amount of time that the lamb spends in the oven will depend on how thick the piece(s) of meat are. A good rule of thumb for a bone-in leg of lamb at 400F° is to allow about 30 minutes roasting time per pound of lamb.

Pairs well with wines from D.O. Ribera del Duero