This post and recipe was written for SABER Infrared Grills by Chef Chris Koetke of Let’s Dish.
Leg of lamb can be daunting. It conjures up important meals, like holiday meals, where the pressure is on to make everything just right. When I lived and worked in France decades ago, I developed a different view of leg of lamb. There, we had it often. In fact, we had it almost every Sunday. It was not reserved for those “special” occasions. To this day, I have adopted this view of the leg of lamb in my home. We eat it just like we would eat any other cut of meat. Certainly, leg of lamb is fun to roast whole, but increasingly I like grilling it. When cooked on the grill, the rich flavors of lamb are complemented by the smoky intensity of the grill. The result is nothing short of mouth-watering. To insure success, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Start with a boneless leg of lamb. Butterfly it open so that the entire leg lies flat on the cutting board and is about 1 ½-2 inches thick.
- Flavor the leg well with salt and other seasonings. A leg of lamb is capable of supporting a wide variety of strong flavors. Feel free to experiment with the flavors of different cuisines like Mexican, Greek, or Thai.
- Because leg of lamb is a thicker cut of meat, you want to grill it over moderate heat so as to give it time to cook without the exterior becoming too dark.
- Ideally, lamb should be cooked to medium-rare.
- Once it is done, let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Then slice it as thinly as possible which will make the meat meltingly tender.
- 1 leg of lamb, bone-in
- 12 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup onion, minced
- 3 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 cups good quality Nut Brown Ale
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 6 Tablespoons malt vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place lamb leg on a cutting board and trim fat from the exterior of lamb.
- Open leg so that it lies flat on the cutting board. If the leg is already cut to do this, you do not have to do the following step.
- If the leg bone was removed without cutting the leg open, simply make a cut through the meat at the thinnest part of the leg so that it can be laid flat.
- Place the exterior part of the leg down on the cutting board. Make small slices into the thicker parts of the leg so that the leg eventually becomes the same thickness. Make additional small slits throughout the meat on the inside portion of the leg. You can cut the leg into two pieces to make the grilling easier.
- Mix up the marinade by combining the garlic, onion, cumin, beer, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Place the lamb leg in the marinade and refrigerate 4-12 hours.
- One hour before grilling, remove the lamb from the marinade and let it warm up to room temperature.
- Rub the surface of the lamb with olive oil. Place the lamb, exterior side down, on a hot grill. When it is browned, turn over and brown the other side. Continue cooking over moderate heat, turning the leg often to prevent it from burning. The lamb is done when it has reached an internal temperature of 130 - 135°F.
- Remove lamb from grill and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing. To serve, cut into very thin slices.