Today I’m going to show you how to grill a whole leg of lamb. Lamb has a great flavor, and it is even better when it is cooked on the grill. The smoke and fire work so well with lamb, so I prefer to cook mine on the grill rather than roast it in the oven. Since a whole leg of lamb is rather large, grilling it can be a challenge. We need to cook it all the way through, plus get a nice crisp crust on the outside. The answer to this is to grill it indirect.
Typically a whole leg of lamb is between 8 to 10 pounds, but you can also get a small leg of lamb that is 4 to 5 pounds. For this recipe I’m going to use a small one, which will shorten the grill time, but feel free to adjust and use a large one.
Once you have you leg of lamb there are a few other things you are going to need in order to season it up. One bunch of fresh rosemary, garlic cloves, Herbes de Provence, coarse salt, cracked black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. You may be wondering what Herbes de Provence is, basically it is a mix of dried herbs. You can make it homemade, but I find it easier just to buy it. Sometimes you can find it at a grocery store, but I usually get mine here.
To prepare the leg of lamb we are going to make a bunch of tiny holes in it and insert some rosemary and garlic. So, using a tip of a small knife cut ½ inch deep holes throughout the lamb. Take your garlic cloves and cut it into slivers and insert it into each of the holes. Also insert some rosemary leaves into each hole. Now spray the lamb on all sides with the olive oil. How do you spray olive oil? You get one of these olive oil sprayers. These come in really handy around the kitchen, I use mine all the time. Sprinkle some Herbes de Provence over the lamb and also some salt and pepper.
Set up your gas or charcoal grill for indirect grilling over medium heat. If you are using a charcoal grill, put an aluminum drip pan in the center, and place the coals on the side. Now if you want you can add smoke to the lamb, I usually do. I prefer to use oak when smoking lamb. If you have a gas grill you can use one of these smoker boxes.
Place the leg of lamb on the grill away from the heat. Cook for approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours for medium-rare. Make sure to baste the lamb every half hour with a bit of olive oil. To test for doneness use an instant read thermometer like this one. Insert it into the thickest part of the leg. For rare it should read 125F, for medium-rare 145F, and for medium 160F.
Once it is done transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for about 10 minutes, then carve, and serve. That is how to grill a whole leg of lamb that turns out perfect.
image courtesy of jasonsandeman/flickr