Here is a case when less is more… only four ingredients to give you a flavorful and impressive dish for your springtime holiday table. With a little bit of knife-work, it only takes a few minutes to prepare. The key here is the chopping finely enough so that you get little bursts of lemon zest, mint and garlic in each bite. For best results prep the lamb one to three days before grilling to allow the flavors to really perfume the lamb. (See how I saved you more time there!)
- One 3-1/2 to 4 pound boneless leg of lamb
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Zest from 1 lemon, removed with a vegetable peeler
- ⅓ cup mint leaves, packed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Remove lamb from the netting and turn it over to where the cuts have been made to remove the bone. Sometimes it isn't cut all the way through, so finish the cut so the meat open up “flat”. You just want to even it up a bit so that the entire piece is the same thickness – about 1½ to 2 inches. Do this by holding the knife parallel to work surface and begin slicing inward, pulling back the meat with your free hand and unrolling the thicker pieces like a carpet.
- Season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper and set aside. You can do this next step in the food processor or mini-chop, but I like chopping things. Place the chopped garlic, strips of lemon zest, and the mint leaves together on the cutting board and chop away. transfer chopped ingredients in a bowl and stir in the olive oil. Smear this all over the side where the bone was. Roll up the lamb from one of the shorter ends and secure with the butcher’s twine every inch. Place on a tray and loosely cover with plastic wrap. It is ready to grill at this point, but for the most flavorful results, let the lamb "cure" in the refrigerator for one to three days.
- Set up the grill for indirect cooking and stabilize the heat at 325°F to 350°F. Place a drip pan below where lamb will sit on the grill. Brush and oil the grates before cooking.
- Grill roast the lamb for about 25- to 35 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature of the lamb is 130°F (medium-rare) or 140°F (medium). Remove from the grill and transfer to a cutting board; cover with aluminum foil. Allow the lamb to rest for about 20 minutes before carving.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!