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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Grilled Lamb Leg with Mediterranean Seasoning

Lamb is one of my favorite things to eat. As wonderful as racks and chops are they’re a little pricey, so I pretty much stick to making butterflied boneless legs. Here’s my usual method.

1 boneless leg of lamb, 4-5 lbs.
extra-virgin olive oil
salt (Kosher, sea salt, or equivalent)
freshly-ground black pepper
ground cumin seed
fresh garlic, chopped fine
dried oregano (preferably Turkish)

Start by taking the net off of the boneless leg. Place a large cutting board on a sturdy surface, and roll the meat out as flat as possible on it. With a large hammer (I use an Estwing three-pound sledge), wham the lamb relentlessly until it is of a more or less uniform thickness, about 1.5" - 2".


Using a sharp knife, cut the meat into two similarly-sized pieces. Trim off as much fat and silvery membrane as possible.

cleaned and divided

Massage olive oil into both sides of the meat, then season both sides to taste with high-quality salt and fresh-ground pepper, then liberally with the powdered cumin.

first seasoning

Chop a big handful of fresh garlic cloves (or alternatively, buy a jar of minced garlic), then evenly distribute the chopped garlic in little plops on the meat.

garlic plops

Massage it in well, then repeat the process on the other side. When the garlic and spices are well rubbed in and the meat is a consistent color, sprinkle both sides with plenty of dried oregano (you DO buy your spice in bulk, don’t you?).

second seasoning

Tightly wrap in plastic wrap, and set aside in a refrigerator for at least four hours, preferably longer. [At this point, I usually put half of the meat in a freezer bag and freeze for later.]

wrapped and bagged

When you’re ready to cook your lamb, let it come up to room temperature while your grill preheats. When the grill is ready, cook the lamb over direct high heat for five minutes per side, turning once. Remove meat from grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing it into serving strips, much as you would a flank steak.

dinner is served!

This dish pairs well with many sides — rice, potatoes, green beans, and various Indian dishes among them. As for wine, try a Grenache, Malbec or, of course, a nice big Cab.
J. Silverheels Gray, 9:48 AM


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