Marinated and Grilled Mediterranean Leg of Lamb

Marinated and Grilled Mediterranean Leg of Lamb On the Lamb
Growing up we didn’t do Easter Brunch. We ate Easter dinner at my Grandmother’s and there were strict rules that had to be followed. Along with the purple water glasses, it wouldn’t have been Easter without some asparagus, scalloped potatoes, and a leg of lamb.

My Grandmother took the traditional approach to preparing her leg of lamb which included stuffing whole cloves of garlic in small cuts all over the leg before roasting and serving it alongside some mint jelly. (Heaven forbid, we not have the mint jelly.)

As the rebel of the family, I like to buck tradition and butterfly my leg of lamb before I throw it on the grill.

Grilling a butterflied leg of lamb is super easy and you can play around with different flavors with the marinades or dry rubs. You could go Greek, Moroccan, Tejano, or whatever floats your boat. Of course, everything depends on the crowd. Not everyone wants to be transported to the markets of Marrakech for their Easter dinner—even if a grilled leg of lamb would be very tasty with couscous and grilled veggies. (Sign me up though…)

For Easter, I like to tone it down a bit and go with more Mediterranean flavors like this recipe for Marinated and Grilled Mediterranean Leg of Lamb — if you are able, try to marinate the lamb overnight. It is a simple yet flavorful marinade that will produce a tasty meal when served with grilled veggies, some roasted new potatoes, and a bit of a chocolate bunny for dessert.

Marinated and Grilled Mediterranean Leg of Lamb
Adapted from Epicurious
Yields 8 servings

Our butchers will be happy to butterfly and trim the fat from the leg of lamb for you.

The uniform thickness of a butterflied boneless leg of lamb makes it easy to grill and serve. If you don’t have access or inclination to grill outdoors, the lamb can be cooked on a hot, lightly-oiled and well-seasoned, 2-burner, ridged, grill pan. Cook it uncovered, turning over once (about 12 to 14 minutes per side).

We recommend marinating the lamb overnight and up to 24 hours.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 4 1/2 to 5-pound butterflied, boneless leg of lamb, fat trimmed off

Combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a 2-gallon, sealable plastic bag. Add the lamb and seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Turn the bag around to coat the lamb, then put the bag in a shallow baking pan in the fridge to marinate. Turn the bag over every few hours while the lamb is marinating.

Bring the lamb to room temperature before grilling. This should take about an hour.

Prepare your grill for cooking over direct heat with medium-hot charcoal or moderate heat for gas. Here is a useful link to Epicurious’ grilling procedure.

Remove the lamb from the marinade bag and discard the marinade. Run 3 or 4 skewers lengthwise through the lamb every 2 inches.

Place the meat on a lightly oiled grill rack on grill. If you are using a gas grill, close the cover. Turn the meat occasionally and, if necessary, move it around on grill to avoid flare-ups. Grill until a thermometer registers 125º F to 128° F (about 8 to 14 minutes for medium-rare).

Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and remove the skewers. Loosely cover the lamb with foil, and allow it to stand for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature rises to 135° F. Slice the meat by cutting across the grain.

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