Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb

I don't think we eat lamb enough. What's up with that? Is it because it's too gamey for most?

It's popular enough around Easter and Christmas but then... we just don't bother after that?

I love lamb, am I alone in this? I either treat it very simply like I would a steak, depending on the cut, but the hearty gamey flavor makes it supremely adaptive to stews and braises. The rib/rack of lamb which is usually a high spend item is probably what most of us are familiar with might turn you away from regularly adding this to your repertoire but don't let it! The shoulder and chop cuts are great for messing around with at home.

Probably one of the biggest problems is... I can't find a piece of lamb to save my life. I went to eight, yes EIGHT, different stores looking for a lamb shoulder, removed from the bone. I couldn't find it. Anywhere. At some point I stopped and asked a butcher for a shoulder and he hefted a 10lb bone-in, hulking mass of an item on the counter. It was tagged about $65.

Yeah, no. 

Problem was, I was so determined at this point I refused to take this lamb idea off my menu for dinner. I refused to give in. I. Will. Have. Lamb.

I had also bought the rest of the ingredients I needed - simple, some vegetables, some fresh summer tomatoes, greek yogurt and herbs. I could have re-calibrated but I'm stubborn. Oh well.

Having passed up a butterflied leg of lamb at one of the previous stores I doubled back and got it. It was only 2.5lbs, removed from the bone and completely reasonable for a Sunday dinner. It would do in place of the shoulder and it would satiate my appetite.

If you have as much trouble as I do finding lamb it's forgivable for you to skip this recipe, but if you bump into a boneless piece on of your shopping days I hope you think of this and try it. 

1 large onion, quartered
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
2 tsps fresh rosemary, removed from stems
5 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp vegetable or other neutral oil
salt and pepper to taste

Salt and pepper both sides of the lamb generously and place in a pyrex dish. Put all other ingredients, even the bay leaves, in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Cover the lamb with the onion and herb mixture on both sides, cover and let marinade in the fridge for 2-24 hours.

Grill over indirect heat 20-25 minutes or until an internal thermometer reads 130. Flip the lamb to the hot side of the grill and finish for color and desired doneness. Medium is 140 degrees. Remove from heat and let rest on a plate with tomatoes while the juices redistribute (and infuse your tomatoes).

Serve with tomatoes, vegetables and haydari dip.

Garlicky Kale

Remove kale from stems and tear into a few large pieces. In a bowl, drizzle olive oil (about a tbsp), salt to taste and 3-4 garlic cloves crushed with the back of a knife until a paste. Use your hands and massage the ingredients together for 5 minutes. Either on grill sheet or carefully on your grill grate, grill until soft and charred.


This is a Turkish yogurt dip. Very simple and easily amendable to your palette.

1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
salt to taste
Serve with meat and bread to dip.

No comments