The Chef in Stead

"To barbecue" means to slow-cook foods at a low temperature for a long time with wood or charcoal.

"To grill" means to cook foods over direct heat and cook it much faster than barbecue with gas, wood or charcoal.

Basic Grilled Leg of Lamb

Not the most complex thing to do, but make sure you season it well and DON'T grill it more than 135F MAX internal temp for best result... If you cook this piece of meat well done, you and your poor guests will chew until the next day... You can sub thyme for rosemary if you wish!

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

2 tsp whole cumin seed
2 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
5 garlic cloves
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
some extra virgin olive oil
some fresh lemon juice

1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
chopped green onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

- Using a mortar and pestle, pound the cumin seed and peppercorns into tiny pieces. Add the garlic, salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Pound the seasonings into tiny pieces. Add the olive oil and lemon juice. Mix to create a paste.

- Place the lamb, cut side up, on a clean work surface. The meat needs to be a fairly uniform, 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick. If any sections are thicker, cut incisions on the bias into the thicker section so it cook equaly and spread and "butterfly". Season with your paste on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.

- In a small bowl whisk the sauce ingredients until smooth and keep in the fridge until it's time to eat.

- Brush the cooking grate clean. Grill the lamb, fat side down first, over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until golden brown all over. Move the lamb over indirect medium heat and cook to your desired doneness... which should be 135F MAX internal temp. Remove the lamb from the grill and let rest for about 7 to 10 minutes before slicing.Cut the lamb crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Serve warm or at room temperature with the sauce.

serves approx 6 servings

Private Chef Martin for Cooking Classes and Catering in Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton.

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