Easter Grilled Leg of Lamb
~Chef Perry Perkins~
The only way to eat lamb is medium rare or rare. That's first. If you don't like that, stop reading here and look for another recipe. Please, please, please DO NOT ruin this beautiful piece of meat, by cooking to "medium well" or "well done" both of which are an oxymoron. :)
Now, if you're still with us...awesome! Let's grill!
We're going to sear the lamb first, on both sides, briefly, and directly over high heat, then move it over to indirect (lower) heat until it's cooked through.
To cook this lamb perfectly, you gotta use a meat thermometer to track the internal temperature of the roast. No questions, you just gotta.
1 bnls leg of lamb, 6 lbs, butterflied
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 lemon, zested
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Sea salt (coarse) and fresh ground black pepper
1 med sweet onion
¼ cup herbs de Provence*
¼ cup beef stock or broth
2 Tbs olive oil
*Herbs de Provence - a mixture of dried herbs which can be found on most spice aisles, or you can make you own by combining:
4 tsp thyme
2 tsp marjoram
2 tsp basil
4 tsp summer savory
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp sage
Combine sweet onion, garlic, herbs de provence, beef stock, lemon zest, vinegar, and olive oil into a food processor and pulse to combine.
Sprinkle a fist-full salt and pepper over the lamb. Put the lamb into a gallon freezer bag, pour in the marinade, and massage it into every nook and cranny of the roast. Seal 'er up, and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or overnight.
Remove the meat from your refrigerator and set it in one counter (still in the bag) for about an house, to come to room temperature.
Now, we're ready to grill!
Some folks like to roll a boneless leg of lamb, but I prefer to grill it flat. Not only does it cook faster, but, because it’s thinner, the outside inch or two doesn’t tend to dry out before the center reaches a perfect rare, to medium rare.
Start your coals in a chimney, and pour them into a double layer on one half of the cooking area (right or left) and just sprinkle a few on the other side.
This is a called a "2-Zone Fire."
If you don't have any oak, no biggie, but it does add a nice, mellow flavor to lamb. I toss a handful directly on the coals and let them burn down a bit, before adding the lamb.
Set the lamb, fat-cap down, on the grill, over direct heat. You're going to get some flames, and that's okay (that's what we like to call "the flavor") Keep a squirt bottle of water or beer handy, to control the flames if needed. Grill it hot on one side for about four minutes, then flip 'er over to sear the other side for another 4 minutes.
Then, move that little lamb to the indirect heat (cooler) side of the grill, and insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the leg.
Cover the lamb with a disposable pan, and let cook for an additional 35-45 minutes until the thermometer registers 130°F (for medium rare).
When done, move the roast to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Pull the skewers and toss.
Slice the lamb across the grain, in inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices on a warm platter and pour the meat juices over the slices.
Serve with mint jelly or horseradish.
Oh, and leftovers make for a fantastic Bahn Mi sandwich!
Go ahead and add yours...you know you want to!
As a third-generation chef, Perry P. Perkins focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.
Perry runs the non-profit organization, MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes for at risk youth.
His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party, and the NEW “La Caja China Grill.”
You can follow the rest of Chef Perry’s cooking adventures at ChefPerryPerkins.com