Grilled Lamb Leg (boneless)

April 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

I know many people enjoy it but I never could understand why people have mint jelly with lamb. To me, it seemed like serving ketchup with fillet mignon – you really shouldn’t need a condiment. The earthy flavor of lamb should be enhanced with fresh herbs and seasoning.

This recipe adds a subtle fruity flavor to the traditional garlic and rosemary herbs used to season lamb. Flattening a boneless lamb leg also speeds up the cooking time. Season the meat overnight and it can be grilled under 30 minutes.

For information about the difference between American and Australian/New Zealand lamb see my blog for Lamb Shanks with White Beans and Gremolata.

Grilled lamb leg, boneless

NOTES: This recipe is prepared on a Weber gas grill with three horizontal burners and a temperature gauge on the cover. You may need to adjust the cooking method if you are using a different burner configuration or if you are using a coal or wood fueled grill. I did not use an internal meat thermometer, simply because I don’t have one, so I could not note the meat temperature in this recipe. The lamb in this recipe is prepared “medium” – evenly pink throughout the meat.

4 lbs. Lamb Leg, boneless
2 Tbls. Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbls. Orange Juice
2 Tbls. Olive Oil
1 Tbls. Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp. Lemon Juice
1 Tbls. Tomato Paste
1 Tbls. Garlic, chopped
1 Tbls. Flat Leaf Parsley, fresh chopped
2 tsp. Rosemary, fresh chopped
¼ tsp. Black Pepper, fresh ground

PREPARE LAMB: In most cases, when purchasing boneless lamb leg, it will be tied with string or held together by netting. If this is the case, remove all string or netting and open lamb so it is a thick flat fillet of meat. If necessary, slice into meat so it will lay fairly flat. The meat should be about 3-inches thick (if it is thinner, adjust grilling times). Try to keep the thickness even so it will cook consistently. If there is a layer of fat on the outer side of the meat, leave a thin layer, about 1/8-inch. Too much fat may cause the grill to flare and char the meat but too little will make the meat a little dry. Place the meat in a rectangular pan that will allow the meat to lay flat or place meat in a Ziplock bag. Set aside in refrigerator while mixing marinade.

MARINADE: In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except the lamb.

Grilled lamb marinade

Mix well and pour onto meat, being sure to cover all surfaces. Let meat marinate for at least one hour to overnight.

Grilled lamb leg, boneless

NOTE: The piece of lamb photographed in this blog is 2 lbs (half a lamb leg) but this recipe is written based on preparing a full leg, approximately 4 lbs.

GRILL: Turn the grill onto high heat, covered, until the grill temperature reaches 400°. Brush a thin layer of vegetable oil onto grill to prevent meat from sticking. Place the lamb onto grill, fat side (outer side of the meat) down first. Turn the center burner to the lowest heat setting and turn the side burners to medium. Maintain a grill temperature of 375°. Cook with the grill covered for 7 minutes. Check half way through cooking to make sure fat is not causing meat to char too much. If it is, lower heat or cook with lid open for a short time. Turn meat over and continue to cook with the cover closed for 14 minutes. Continue to maintain a grill temperature of 375°. Remove the meat to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for 10 minutes.

Grilled lamb leg, boneless

Cut the meat into ¼-inch slices. Serve while still hot.

Grilled lamb leg, boneless

SERVING RECOMMENDATIONS: Try my recipe for Smashed Potatoes or if you want something very simple, try boiling small potatoes for 15-20 minutes, drain, coat them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve the potatoes as is or prepare them in advance and put them on the grill next to the lamb to warm them up.

For those of you who are like me and like to have an old fashion printed copy of recipes, the below link is to a PDF (minus photos to keep it on one page).

Grilled Lamb Leg (boneless).pdf


Three Rose Marinade (for Lamb Chops or Cornish Hen)

February 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Roses for Valentine’s Day is wonderful but even better if you can eat them. Well, not really eat them because you just don’t know what has been sprayed on them. So instead I offer a recipe using rosemary, rose peppercorns, and rose water.

This is a recipe I developed quite a while ago when I first saw the movie, Like Water for Chocolate. As I sat there in the dark movie theater, the cooking-nerd in me thought, “Wow! Can you really cook with roses?” For those who have seen the movie, you can probably guess which scene inspired my culinary creativity . For those who have not seen the movie I’ll just say that I hope this recipe will invoke feelings of pleasure and excitement…

NOTE: Updated this page on March 8th – corrected typo in PDF and added two photos of Cornish Hen.

Three Rose Marinade (for Lamb Chops or Cornish Hen)

If using lamb rib chops, slice each steak with two ribs so the meat is about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches thick.  This will help keep the chops medium to medium rare. Lamb Kidney Chops (looks like a mini T-bone steak) are generally sliced thick. This marinade also works well with Cornish Hens. Split each hen in half (neck to tail).

1 ¼ to 2 lb Lamb Rib or Kidney Chops or 2 Cornish Hens, split
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
2 tsp. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Rosemary, fresh chopped
½ tsp. Rose Peppercorns, ground
dash Cloves, ground
¼ tsp. Salt
2 Tbls. Balsamic Vinegar
¼ cup Port (or Red Wine)
2 Tbls. Rose Water
¼ cup Olive Oil

Combine garlic, brown sugar, rosemary, rose peppercorns, cloves, salt, balsamic vinegar, Port, rose water, and olive oil. Mix with a fork or whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add to meat and marinate at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

IF PREPARING LAMB: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a grill pan. Sear chops on each side for about 4 minutes on medium-high heat. Alternately, chops can be cooked on an outdoor grill or broiled in the oven.

IF PREPARING CORNISH HENS: Bake hens in a preheated 350° oven for 35 minutes, basting once about 20 minutes into cooking. Alternately, the hens can be prepared on an outdoor grill. Sear skin side first, then cook bone side down at medium heat if using a gas grill or indirect heat if using coal or wood.

SERVING RECOMMENDATIONS: This recipe pairs well with roasted potatoes or rice pilaf.

SALAD RECOMMENDATION: Arugula Salad – mix baby arugula, radicchio, and Belgium endive. Top with slices of ripe but firm pear and slivers of red onion. For dressing drizzle one part Sour Pomegranate Syrup and two parts Greek (Kalamata) olive oil or one part fresh lemon juice and two parts Greek (Kalamata) olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh ground salt and pepper.

For those of you who are like me and like to have an old fashion printed copy of recipes, the below link is to a PDF (minus photos to keep it on one page).

Three Rose Marinade (for Lamb or Cornish Hen) (GF).pdf

* Gluten allergy and intolerance has become increasingly common.  I will not go into detail about the specific symptoms, causes, or differences but I will note beside the recipe titles “(GF)” for those recipes that are gluten free.  Please note that although I have labeled these recipes to be gluten free you must do your due diligence to review ingredient labels of prepared products to verify that they are truly gluten free. Also consider the side you choose to serve. In some recipes I recommend pasta or bread, which in most cases are not gluten free.

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