Grilled butterflied leg of lamb on a hot grill will change your life. OMG, the crust.
Our friend Elizabeth served us this meal and it was truly a knockout. The high heat from the grill (plus some dripping fat that made for a moment of drama) beautifully seared the lamb’s exterior at the outset, creating an intense dijon mustard and rosemary crust against the tender, rare interior of the meat.
Butterflied means a leg with the bone cut out. You can get your butcher to bone the leg or you can buy a boneless roast that is often wrapped in a string netting. Just take the netting off and unroll the leg to grill. It will probably be lumpy with thicker and thinner areas. If you like, cut the leg into portions of equal thickness for even grilling.
Like a beef tenderloin, sear all sides over higher heat to start, cook to doneness on lower heat to the side, or up on the grill’s shelf if you have one. Fast hot sear, slow lower heat finish. Use an instant read thermometer to check, saves slashing into the meat too early.
The key, as almost always, is to keep it simple. When at the grill just ask yourself: “what would a cave man or woman do?” and do that. Resist the current urge to over-think the recipe or the method. Put your energy into side dishes, like these simple oven roasted red potatoes. Lay the slices out on a big platter or cutting board and make it the table’s centerpiece. It’s a hit.
So let’s get to the point:
- One 3 to 4 pound leg of lamb, butterflied
- 8 cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup fresh chopped rosemary
- 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Put all the ingredients into the food processor and blend until it turns into a paste.
- Rub the paste on all surfaces of the leg.
- Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- To cook, prepare a medium-high heat grill and sear the butterflied leg directly over the heat on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium or move the meat away from the direct heat and cook until the internal temperature reaches 120°F for rare, 130°F for medium rare (the temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees once off the grill).
- Allow the meat to rest on a cutting board about 10 minutes before slicing into serving sizes.
- Pile on a big platter with roasted potatoes.