Saturday, January 12, 2013

Leg of Lamb with Roasted Garlic and Mint

Do you remember the meat counter I mentioned at the local grocery store?  Well, in addition to the veal scallopine I purchased they also had boneless leg of lamb in decent sizes for a small dinner.  The recipe called for a boneless leg of lamb of 3 to 3 1/2 pounds and the one I found was just under 3 pounds.  The advantage was that it was also a boneless leg of lamb.  We know from experience, how much easier it is to buy a boneless leg of lamb rather than trying to bone it yourself.

This leg of lamb was simply prepared with a paste of roasted garlic with fresh herbs added and rubbed over the butterflied leg of lamb and the rest of the paste rubbed over the outside  of the leg before being grilled.

The components of the paste penetrated every bite of the lamb packing each mouthful with a punch of flavor.  I served the lamb with sides of buttermilk mashed potatoes and oven roasted carrots.

Leg of Lamb with Roasted Garlic and Mint
Makes 6 servings


2 medium heads of garlic
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground blak pepper

1 boneless leg of lamb, 3 to 3 1/2 pounds, butterflied

To make the paste: 
Remove the loose, papery outer skin from the heads of garlic.  Using a sharp knife, cut about 1/2 inch off the top to expose the cloves.  Place each garlic head on a large square of heavy-duty aluminum foil and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the cloves.  Fold up the foil sides and seal to make a packet, leaving a little room for the expansion of steam.  Grill over Indirect Medium heat until the cloves are soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Alternatively, roast the foil wrapped packets of garlic in a 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.  When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the garlic cloves into a medium bowl.  Add the remaining paste ingredients, including the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.  Using the back of a fork, or a mortar and pestle, thoroughly combine the ingredients to create a paste.

Carefully remove any excess fat and sinew from both sides of the lamb and lay it, skin side down on a flat surface.  It should be 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick.  Spread half of the paste over one side of the lamb and roll the lamb tightly into a long cylinder.  Usting twine, tie the lamb at 2-inch intervals.  Trim off the loose ends of twine  Spread the remaining half of the paste over the outside of the lamb.  If not grilling immediately, cover and refrigerate.  Allow the lamb to stand at room temperature 30 to 40 minutes before grilling.

Sear the lamb over direct medium heat until brown on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes, turning as necessary (if flare-ps occur, move the lamb temporarily over indirect medium heat heat).  Move the lamb over indirect medium heat and continue grilling to desired doneness, 1 to 1 1/4 hours more for medium-rare.  Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove the twine.  Cut the lamb crosswise into 1/4-inch slices and serve warm.

Adapted from Weber's Real Grilling

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