Like so many carnivores I love a great roasted or grilled leg of lamb. What can I say – it’s in my blood.
Years ago a chef friend of mine showed me trick that forever changed the way that I grill leg of lamb. It was one of those lightbulb over the head moments when someone explains something so logical you wonder how you could have missed it.
He told me that he never grills a leg of lamb whole, bone-in or out, as the leg of lamb was in fact four different pieces of meat. He cut open the meat to expose and remove the bone and then laid the meat flat. Once open and flat you could clearly see the four quadrants. Two were smaller and relatively flat while two were shaped like little rugby balls (one being larger). You can do much of the work with your hands but will likely need a knife to remove the thick bits of fat and connective tissue. With this method you also have the added benefit of removing these undesirable parts well before it hits the table.
The four distinct hunks of lamb have different densities and logically cook at different rates of time. This is why for years my leg of lamb would come to the table with some parts cooked perfectly and others still a bit raw. Never again.
- 10 – cloves of garlic
- 3 – sprigs of fresh Rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 1 – Four pound (roughly) leg of lamb divided in fours parts as described above
Preparing and Cooking Your Leg of Lamb
Combine the first four ingredients chopping finely (this can be done in a blender or food processor). Slather the mixture on the pieces of lamb coating generously. Allow the lamb to rest and marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for four hours at room temperature.
Prepare a grill with a hot zone and a medium hot zone. Put the lamb on the grill and turn the meat every few minutes. The smaller pieces will reach medium-done in about 10 minutes and can be moved to the warm rack while the larger pieces can be moved to the medium hot zone of the grill to continue cooking. Check the pieces with an instant-read thermometer aiming for a reading of 130-135 F. Allow the meat to rest covered for 10 minutes before carving.
The lamb is perfect that night and the leftovers make great sandwiches the next day. I find it’s best not to try to reheat the meat as it will dry out quickly and it will not be as good as it was freshly cooked but served cold it’s delicious!
Enjoy your grilled leg of lamb.