Posts Tagged ‘grilled lamb’

Growing up, my family had a variety of animals – dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, and lambs, among others. I had a bit of an obsession with the name Timothy, insisting on bestowing the name on each subsequent lamb. There may have even been a female Timothy in there somewhere! Though we had lambs as pets, we really did not eat much lamb when I was growing up, but I have come to really like it as an adult. My lamb consumption has been almost exclusively at restaurants, so I was excited to get to try cooking a leg of lamb to finish off the third season of my Good Eats project.

The recipe for Alton’s grilled leg of lamb can be found here. Unless you are cooking for 8-10 people, you will want to cook half a leg of lamb. The sirloin end of the leg (the end furthest from the hoof) is the portion you want to get, and you can often get your butcher to cut this portion for you. I went to good ol’ Costco to get my lamb, so mine came in a vacuum-sealed bag; Alton is not a big fan of this, as you end up paying partially for the liquid in the bag, but it was a convenient option for me. Once you get your lamb home, you want to unroll it into a flat slab.

Leg of lamb.

Leg of lamb.

Opened leg of lamb.

Opened leg of lamb.

Note that just because you get a “boned” leg of lamb, a portion of the joint may still be in place; if this is the case, you will want to remove the joint by cutting around it and pulling it out. My leg of lamb was truly boneless. Also trim off any huge chunks of fat or connective tissue, but you want to be careful not to over trim the meat, as the leg of lamb consists of several muscles held together by connective tissue. Flip the meat over so the skin side is up and trim off the fell, which is the impermeable membrane over the fat. The fell can be very tough, so you want to remove as much as possible, using the tip of your knife to get under the membrane.

Fell trimmed off.

Fell trimmed off.

Once your lamb is trimmed sufficiently, in a mini chopper combine 4 cloves of garlic, 8 mint leaves, 1 T brown sugar, 1 T Kosher salt, 2 t black pepper, 5 T Dijon mustard, and 2 T canola oil.

Ingredients for Alton's lamb:  Kosher salt, black pepper, Dijon mustard, mint, garlic, canola oil, and brown sugar.

Ingredients for Alton’s lamb: Kosher salt, black pepper, Dijon mustard, mint, garlic, canola oil, and brown sugar.

Four cloves of garlic in the chopper.

Four cloves of garlic in the chopper.

Chopped garlic.

Chopped garlic.

Eight mint leaves added to garlic.

Eight mint leaves added to garlic.

1 T brown sugar added.

1 T brown sugar added.

and 1 T Kosher salt.

and 1 T Kosher salt.

Plus 5 T Dijon mustard and 2 t black pepper.

Plus 5 T Dijon mustard and 2 t black pepper.

2 T canola oil added.

2 T canola oil added.

Mint/mustard mixture.

Mint/mustard mixture.

You will need to truss your meat, so cut five pieces of butcher’s twine that are 17-18 inches long. You will also need one longer piece of twine that is about 36 inches long. Flip the meat so the skin side is down and spread the mustard/mint mixture all over the meat, using all of the mixture.

Mint/mustard mixture spread over lamb.

Mint/mustard mixture spread over lamb.

Roll the lamb up into a neat tube shape and flip it so the skin side is facing up.

Lamb rolled into tube shape.

Lamb rolled into tube shape.

Starting in the middle of the meat, tie one of the shorter pieces of twine around the lamb, using a surgeon’s knot. You want to tie the twine tightly, but not overly so, as the meat will expand when it cooks.

Butcher's twine tied around the center of the lamb.

Butcher’s twine tied around the center of the lamb.

Continue tying the shorter pieces of twine around the meat, evenly spacing them.

Additional pieces of twine tied around lamb.

Additional pieces of twine tied around lamb.

Once all of shorter pieces of twine are tied, use the long piece of twine to tie the meat lengthwise, looping it around the shorter pieces of twine. Again, finish with a surgeon’s knot.

Longer piece of twine looped around the shorter pieces of twine.

Longer piece of twine looped around the shorter pieces of twine.

Alton used a charcoal grill to cook his lamb. We do not have a charcoal grill, so I used our gas grill. You will want to cook the lamb over indirect heat, and be sure to lube the grill grates with canola oil prior to putting the roast on the grill.

Lamb ready to go on the grill.

Lamb ready to go on the grill.

Place the lamb on the grill, skin side up, and throw some rosemary sprigs below the grates to act as a smoking agent.

Lamb on the grill.

Lamb on the grill.

Sprigs of rosemary added to the grill.

Sprigs of rosemary added to the grill.

Close the lid and allow the lamb to cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, flip the meat and turn it 180 degrees.

Lamb flipped and rotated after 20 minutes.

Lamb flipped and rotated after 20 minutes.

Insert a probe thermometer at an angle and set it to beep when the meat hits 135 degrees. In the episode, Alton’s lamb took only an additional 25-30 minutes to reach 135 degrees, but my lamb took considerably longer to be done.

Lamb after reaching 135 degrees.

Lamb after reaching 135 degrees.

Once your lamb is done, remove the twine and allow it to rest under foil for at least 15 minutes before serving. We ate the lamb as our entrée, simply slicing it.

Lamb after resting 15 minutes under foil.

Lamb after resting 15 minutes under foil.

Alton's grilled leg of lamb.

Alton’s grilled leg of lamb.

We shared some leftover lamb with my parents who used the sliced lamb to make sandwiches, which they said were really good. I used the remaining leftover lamb to make my grandma’s curry. Alton’s lamb was really quite delicious and tender, and the mint mixture really flavored the meat well. If you are looking for something different to grill this summer, Alton’s lamb is a great choice, especially for a group.