RTN Recipes – Traditional Spanish Christmas


Spanish Roast Lamb (Cordero Asado)


1/2 suckling Lamb (or large leg of lamb) approximately 9-11 lbs, 6 oz lard, melted (substitute olive oil if desired), 8 to 10 potatoes, peeled, salt to taste


Preparation time – 10 minutes.  Cooking time – 120 minutes.


  1. In a small saucepan, heat the lard until it melts. If you prefer, use a small bowl and heat in microwave oven.
  2. Heat oven to 400ºF.
  3. Rinse the lamb and pat dry. Trim off excess fat and discard.
  4. Place lamb in the roasting pan or another oven-proof dish. (Traditionally, the Spanish use large, open clay dishes). Rub the lamb with salt and baste with the melted lard.
  5. Place in oven to roast. Occasionally baste with large spoon and turn until lamb is golden brown on the outside and meat is tender.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 400ºF is to allow about 30 minutes roasting time per pound of lamb.





Mantecados – Spanish crumble cakes


2 1/4 cups butter OR lard, 1 cup vegetable oil, 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

4 large egg yolks, 2 shots of anise, 1 lemon peel (grated), 2 tablespoons lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon), 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon, 7 1/4 cups plain white flour, 1/2 tsp. baking soda. 1 large egg white (beaten for glaze)


Preparation Time – 20 minutes. Cooking time – 20 minutes.


  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  2. In a very large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the butter OR lard with the oil. Add the sugar and mix until smooth. Add the egg yolks, anise, lemon peel, lemon juice and cinnamon and mix together.
  3. Add flour one cup at a time to the mixture, and then add baking soda. Be sure to mix well. The dough should be very smooth and soft.
  4. Using a teaspoon, scoop out a dollop of dough. Form balls about the size of walnuts using your hands. If the dough is too sticky to roll into balls, mix in additional flour (from 1/4 to 1/2 cup).
  5. Place balls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly press down on each ball to flatten slightly. Brush the beaten egg white on the top of each cookie. Bake cookies until they begin to turn light brown on the bottom edges, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Let the cookies cool 5 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet, as they are very delicate.
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