Spiced Leg of Lamb on the Grill

By • March 22, 2010 • 21 Comments

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Author Notes: I had been looking for a lamb recipe and kept running into ones that used herbs and aromatics. I was looking for something with spices. Aggregating ideas from a number of sources, plus some taste memories of my own, I came up with this one. (The structure of the recipe relies on two recipes by Mark Bittman: a marinated steak < http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/dining/281mrex.html?ref=dining > and a grilled leg of lamb < http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/featured-recipe-herbed-leg-of-lamb/ >.) It's not far from marinating the lamb in a mulled wine. It takes a little work in advance, plus the patience (or planning) to wait for the marination, but it is simple, and tasty, too. The recipe is tolerant of variation. For wine I chose Zinfandel (Ridge 2007 Ponzo Vineyard), but any bold red like a fruity Syrah or Malbec would do. The choice of spices is only limited by your spice merchant and your palate. I chose spices that reminded me of India.asabnis

Food52 Review: The title of this recipe conjures up a lengthy process in your kitchen and on your deck, but it's one of the fastest recipes around. The marinade takes about 10 minutes to make and the lamb, because it's butterflied, cooks in about the same time. It was pouring rain the day we made this so we opted to broil it, and it turns out it's a terrific alternative. We laid the butterflied lamb on a baking sheet and set it about 6 inches from the broiler flame. Five minutes per side and we had perfect medium-rare, spicy and fragrant lamb. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 4-6

  • 4 pounds boneless butterflied leg of lamb
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, ground
  • 1 tablespoon coriander, ground
  • 2 pieces cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig mint leaves
  • 1 piece orange or lemon peel
  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • salt and pepper
  1. Boil the wine with the sugar, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander, and cardamom.
  2. Simmer the marinade for 10 minutes, then add ginger, garlic, mint, orange peel, and soy sauce.
  3. Remove marinade from heat and cool to room temperature. (This can be done up to a day in advance, however, then refrigerate the marinade and strain the mint and solid spices out after 24 hours.)
  4. Trim as much fat as possible from the leg of lamb (or ask your butcher).
  5. Place lamb in a large zipper bag or airtight container, add marinade, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  6. Remove lamb from marinade and dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
  7. Grill over medium heat, about 10-15 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature at the thickest part measures 125 F for medium rare.
  8. Remove lamb from grill. Rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with any collected juices.
Jump to Comments (21)

Tags: Easter, entertaining, Holidays, indian, savory, serves a crowd, spices

Comments (21) Questions (3)

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about 2 years ago cyndie

this was so smooth! thought the spices might overpower the meat, but not at all. we vacuum packed the meat in the marinade for 8 -9 hours before putting on the grill. what a hit!!

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over 2 years ago shoesthatilike

I made this for a group this past Easter Sunday. It was a HUGE hit. The marinade was really easy to prep. I only ended up marinating for 3-4 hours (poor planning) but the flavor and the color of the meat was still rich. I'm sure an overnight marinade would only make it all the more flavorful.

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about 3 years ago WedgeMom

Awesome recipe . . . Except I get my lamb from a local farmer and have to de-bone and butterfly myself. It gets pretty gruesome but what is left of the poor lamb is good.

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almost 3 years ago asabnis

I bet the marinade would work with a whole leg. You could roast using your favorite method.

Hilary_sp1

over 3 years ago Hilarybee

I'm making this for Easter Brunch! Wish me (and my grillmaster husband) luck!

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over 3 years ago asabnis

Good luck and happy Easter. Let me know how it turns out.

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over 3 years ago KateCooks

Looks fantastic! I'm thinking about doing a leg of lamb for Easter Brunch (to be served with other goodies like quiche, biscquits, asparagus, etc). Would this be good for brunch, or is it more of a dinner/bbq type marinade? Thanks!

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over 3 years ago asabnis

The spices are pretty forward, so just be sure it won't clash with or overpower the rest of the dishes.

Kbh-canal

over 4 years ago matthewddsg

I made this yesterday and it was loved by all. Thanks the delicious recipe!

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over 4 years ago cocomacaroon

Oh, yummy! - love the spice combo.

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over 4 years ago emmo

Butterflied lamb is nifty smart, and the spice galore is scrumptiously yummy.

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over 4 years ago captainCook

This is a wonderful recipe. Cinnamon stick really does the wonder. Thanks for the recipe.

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over 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

This was amazing. Strong flavors in the marinade but they left such beautiful echoes.

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over 4 years ago FancyCook

I tried this recipe, and the lamb turned out fantastic.

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over 4 years ago hayley

Sounds great. What sides would you serve with this to complete the meal? Thanks!

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over 4 years ago asabnis

Thanks. I made a brown-rice pilaf with clove, a cherry-tomato + parsley salad, and Mark Bittman's chick-pea-and-spinach-and-chorizo dish (google it at the New York Times, it's delicious). Couscous was my plan B.

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over 4 years ago Culinista Annouchka

We can't wait until our BBQ arrives so we can try this out! Great recipe

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over 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow, and yum. Will definitly be trying this - a great spring or summer lamb!!!

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over 4 years ago asabnis

Thanks! We loved it.

Rays-2

over 4 years ago Abra Bennett

That sounds delicious. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Monkeys

over 4 years ago monkeymom

wow, is that pink meat lovely. It's beautiful.