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Grilled Leg of Lamb
Okay… I’ve figured out how to win the current Presidential election. Create a 3 day work week. That’s right. I have been on vacation all week this week; maybe call it a “staycation” as we decided to go nowhere. But, if I promised to make the work week 3 days and the rest of the week, were to be off days, how could I lose? I imagine that the huge corporate machine would probably assassinate me before I even reached the convention, I think that giving people more of their money and their time would be a huge mission that would invite votes, don’t you? I just love being off!
We’ve managed to get stuff done around the house, watch DVDs, got to the theater to check out “The Dark Knight", and cook up some really nice dishes. I even got an opportunity to sous chef for Bren from FlanBoyantEats during her television taping for a local morning show. Stay tuned to Bren’s blog for more about that experience. It is a shame that we have to return to the grind next week. I am so not looking forward to that.
Back to the grill again…
I think the first time I even thought about grilling a leg of lamb I got so intimidated I simply ended up roasting it in the oven for fear of failing a very expensive piece of meat. Now-a-days, not so much. I have done quite a few of these babies and they always come out really well. It really isn’t that difficult at all. I simply seared the leg over high heat and then moved the leg off of the heat and let it roast until medium rare temperature of 130 degrees-f. I used my remote wireless meat thermometer to monitor the temperature.
For the lamb:
1 4-5 lb boneless leg of lamb (butterflied)
2 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano chopped
4 cloves garlic finely diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Roll lamb out on a sheet pan.
Add herbs, oil, and lemon juice to a bowl and whisk to combine.
Rub herb mixture all over lamb coating both sides.
Salt and pepper the leg.
Let marinate in the fridge for 2 or more hours.
Prepare grill for high heat. I used a charcoal grill. It is easier to control flare-ups for me. Plus I like the flavor that the hard wood charcoal imparts.
Place lamb on grill directly over heat. Due to the fat in the lamb, there will be flare-ups, so don’t walk away!
Grill the lamb until it is browned all over.
Move the leg off of the heat for indirect cooking.
If you have one, stick a thermometer in the leg to monitor it. If not, roast the lamb until desired temperature. It should take about 45 minutes to an hour. DO NOT OVERCOOK! I suggest 130 degrees-f for medium rare. No more than 150 degrees-f please.
Let lamb rest for 15 minutes before carving.
For tzatziki sauce:
16 ounces plain Greek yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
5-7 cloves garlic, finely minced (I used 10 or 11)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
6 mint leaves minced
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.
Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
For potato salad:
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
Drain, shaking out the excess water.
Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for about 10 minutes, just until no longer warm.
Gently toss with about a cup and a half of the tzatziki sauce.
Chill and serve.
3-day work week? Oh, I'd vote for you, for sure. Please tackle the equitable distribution of wealth once you're in office, please?
Just mouth watering
js: whatsamatta...you don't like working hard to give your earnings to someone who doesn't? don't worry, i'm on it!
carmen: thanks! I love to get lamb in as much as the pocket book will allow.
christine: thanks. kinda classic, i think.
ashley: i like those days...works for me. grab it and let me know how it is! :-)
cathy: thanks! do try lamb this way, it really adds another layer of flavor.
i love every last thing about it. and now i need to make a leg of lamb very soon. just absolutely beautiful...
lamb is my fave
Claudia: Why...thank you very much! I know that your lamb will be something special as are all your creations. Can't wait to see.
I agree on the three day work week for sure! I get so much more done when I am on my own schedule!
You make your tzatziki just like I do mine. I knew you were a good man!
Enjoy the rest of your staycation.
A 3 day work week would be completely awesome.
Anyway, great lamb recipe! Perfect for eating over some time off.
First off, the marinade was excellent, the only modification was that I also added rosemary, which worked well.
With regard to actual grilling, I had two smaller bone-in legs, not butterflied, one weighing 3.5 pounds and the other about 2.75 pounds. This turned out to be just about right for 6 people, with some leftovers for lamb salads, lamb sandwiches etc.
With regard to cooking time and method, I cooked them on the grill exclusively (gas grill), first for 10 minutes on each side over direct flame at high temperature, approximately 450 to 475 degrees F. (As noted, there are flare-ups during this part so you have to pay attention!) I then moved them to the center of the grill away from the direct flame, and reduced the heat to about 375 degrees F, and roasted them about 20 more minutes at this temperature, flipping them once, and they came out a nice medium-rare to rare. The cooking is not completely even this way, but the meat flavor is really good, and you get some more rare and some less rare meat to satisfy the tastes of the various eaters. The charring on the outside of the legs adds great flavor. This is a great recipe! Bon apetit!!