Charcoal Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb
It's a good day when a box of lamb arrives at your doorstep. It's an even better day when that box is packed with all that you need to create dinner for you and a few of your friends. The other week, I received my introductory package of lamb goodies courtesy of the Lean on Lamb group, a collaboration of the US, New Zealand and Australia whose main goal is to raise awareness on the meat's nutritional benefits as well as to increase the demand of it in the States.
Lamb, if you haven't had much experience with cooking it, is pretty similar to beef, only you'll want to rid it of it's fat to reduce that gaminess that it naturally has. But once you trim the fat, you're left with a beautiful change of pace for your dinner table. My box of goodies came with an accompanying recipe as well as all of the ingredients to season up my lamb - the leg of lamb itself, olive oil, Anaheim chili peppers, scallions, ground ginger, honey, soy sauce and salt and pepper. I followed along with the enclosed recipe but doubled the marinade and when it came time to grill the lamb, I added some applewood wood chips to the charcoal party to give it a deep smoky flavor.
Once I had marinated the meat for about 6 hours, I butterflied the lamb and wrapped it around the Anaheim chilies before sealing it up tight with heat-proof ties. Then, it was on to the grill to give the exterior a good charring before allowing the meat to slowly cook through to a nice medium-rare temperature. At the last minute, the scallions were tossed onto the grill to wilt a bit and they were served alongside the lamb.
If you haven't tried lamb before, I encourage you to do so. The recipe below is fairly simple and if you make it, I would recommend that you double the amounts for the marinade. If you don't have access to a grill, no worries, an oven will do the trick as well. Just sear the meat on the stove and then pop it into the oven to finish cooking.
Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 3-4 Anaheim Chilies, sliced thinly
- 5-7 lb boneless leg of lamb, butterflied
- Olive oil
- 4 bunches scallions
- salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, ground ginger and chilies and then transfer to a large ziplock back or baking dish. Add the lamb and rub with marinade. Seal tightly and refrigerate for at least an hour, overnight preferred. Once you're done marinading, remove lamb from marinade, salt and pepper heavily, and set aside. Heat grill and scrape the grates clean. Grill lamb on high heat first to sear it, then move the lamb to a cooler spot on the grill to allow for the meat to heat through. Cook lamb to an internal temperature of 145 for medium-rare or 160 for medium. Once this has happened, remove lamb from heat and allow to rest. While the lamb is resting, toss the scallions in a light coating of olive oil. Add salt and pepper and grill until wilted and charred. Serve alongside leg of lamb.
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