Recipe by Allana Mortell
With Easter Sunday around the corner, many home-cooks, chefs and the like are busy preparing a menu for the big feast that takes place in just two days. For some, the tradition of serving ham as the main course remains a staple. However, I would like to share with you one of my favorite alternatives : the lamb.
With a quick and simple marinade, a few shocks on the grill and a nice side dish of roasted potatoes or haricot verts, this grilled leg of lamb recipe outshines anything else you had in mind for Sunday dinner. The beauty of this dish is in the marinade. Red wine vinegar, garlic, herbs and a touch of spicy mustard lend the lamb a flavor profile that is greatly intensified once the meat is smacked on a hot grill. Flames arise, surround the meat and given a few minutes, your dinner is prepared.
One of the biggest tips I can share is to remember to baste! Though the lamb has been marinated before being put on the grill, it is important to keep spreading those juices, that acidity, over the meat while it cooks. If you’re purchasing your lamb from a butcher, have him or her bone it and butterfly it at the shop. The marinade can easily be doubled for cooking more servings.
Calories per serving: 660 per serving
Prep time: 24-48 hours
Cooking time: 40 mins
Total time: 40 mins cooking
1 boneless leg of lamb, 5-7 pounds, butterflied
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, bruised
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano, crumbled
1/2 tsp basil
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp pepper
1. Combine red wine vinegar, onion, garlic cloves, mustard, salt, oregano, basil, bay leaf and pepper in a plastic, 1-gallon freezer bag. Spread the marinade all over the sides of the meat. Seal the bag and refrigerate, turning occasionally, to marinate over 24-48 hours.
2. Remove the lamb from the marinade and let come to room temperature (about 20 minutes). When ready to put on the grill, remove the lamb from the marinade bag and transfer the remaining marinade juices to a small bowl to use for basting once on the grill.
3. To prepare the grill, if using a charcoal grill, prepare so the coals are double-layered on one side and single layered on the other side. If using a gas grill, turn all the burners on high to heat the grill.
4. Place the lamb, fat-side down and sear one side for 4-5 minutes then flip to sear the other side. With any extra marinade juices, continue to baste the lamb often, letting the meat absorb all the juices.
5. Once both sides are seared, in order to properly cook, lower the heat (move to the single layered side on a charcoal grill and turn down the heat on a gas grill) and let cook for about 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 130 degrees, which will be about medium rare. Continue cooking if you prefer a more medium doneness, but lamb is best served medium rare.