The flavor of this grilled butterflied leg of lamb is amazing! The overnight herb rub soaks into the meat giving each bite notes of rosemary and garlic and oregano and mint. The fire of the grill chars the meat producing a beautiful crust on the outside while cooking the meat perfectly on the inside. Is it any wonder that grilling lamb using this recipe has become our Easter tradition in recent years?
Last week I talked about my two favorite sorts of holiday roasts – slow and relaxed or quick and needs attention – when I posted my Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder. That one is long and slow and forgiving on the timing, which is great for crowds when you need to be flexible!
This week’s roast is on the other side. It does need a long, herb rub and that bit is very flexible, at least 8 hours but up to 24 hours is fine as well. Once you are getting ready to eat, though? Get it out on the counter and then out on the grill where it cooks in less than 15 minutes.
I’ve always loved a lamb roast. My mom used to make me one for my birthday every year growing up, and I still make it just about the same way she did when I’m making an oven lamb roast. However, in recent years I’ve grown to love the ease and flavor of grilling up a butterflied leg of lamb. It’s so juicy! All that surface area means the herb rub gets into every bite. Yum!
And it’s fast. Want dinner?
Have dinner. 🙂 No waiting once you’re ready to cook.
Just look at that lamb! Tender and juicy and perfectly medium rare in the middle and that awesome crust on the outside! I already want to grill up another one because I’m getting hungry. 🙂
Another thing I love about this roast is that when you are butterflying a leg there are going to be some variations in thickness. I prefer my lamb cooked medium and I’m fine with medium well also, while my husband prefers medium rare. (and our daughter is happy with either) So I keep an eye on the thicker parts and cook them to medium rare while the thinner parts of the roast are cooking to medium. This is not just great for our family, but probably for yours as well. Any group of people is going to have differences of opinion in how rare their meat should be and a butterflied leg can easily accommodate most of those differences. However, if we’re talking well done to rare, then you may need to cut the roast in half or cook up two!
Not good grilling weather and you want lamb? Try my Slow Roasted Greek Lamb Leg! It cooks in the oven at a low temperature to give you medium/medium-rare lamb all the way through.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 4 lbs lamb leg, boneless, butterflied, and trimmed of excess fat
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic
Lay lamb out flat on a tray. Puree all the herb rub ingredients in a food processor. (Alternatively, finely mince the herbs and garlic with a knife and then stir in the rest of the ingredients.) Spread the herb rub evenly over the lamb on both sides. Cover the lamb and put it in the refrigerator overnight.
About one hour before grilling, take the lamb out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter.
Heat up the grill. For a gas grill, turn all the burners to high and let it heat for 15 minutes.
Wipe off most the herb rub from the lamb. Some should still be coating it, but just a thin layer. Turn the grill down to medium high and put the lamb, fat side down, on the grill. Cover and grill for 3-4 minutes, or until well seared. Then turn the lamb over and grill, covered, for about 8 minutes more. Check the temperature and grill for 2 minutes more if needed. For medium rare, the lamb should be 125-130F. When done, let the lamb rest for 10 minutes and then slice.
I usually buy a boneless leg of lamb and butterfly it myself. To butterfly the lamb, open it up to lay it flat and then make a few cuts into the thickest parts of the meat, stopping each cut at about the thickness that you want the meat to be. Don't cut too deep or all the way through. This will flatten out the meat some more so it will cook more evenly. Then trim away excess fat and you're ready for the herb rub.