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Another T-Day Experinent: Leg of Lamb Roast

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Nancy Lou BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 64
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
We received the following e-mail from Jack this morning:

"Thanksgiving Experiment: Getting ready to gather up all the ingredients for this experiment today. I will be grilling/smoking a 4-7 lb. boneless leg of lamb on my outdoor grill. I am creating a paste that includes: 2 cups olive oil Seasoned Salt Fresh Garlic (6 cloves) 3 oz. fresh lemon juice 2 Tbl. Oregano 2 Tbl. Thyme 2 Tbl. Rosemary ??? Barbeque Dry Rub (not sure yet; to taste!) 1 Tbl Worcestershire Plan on rubbing on the paste and placing in a plastic bag for several hours. Roll and tie the lamb roast Grill lamb roast on all side to create a bark over hickory charcoal Indirect cook the roast and app. 250; hoping the hickory will add a smoky flavor Taking it off at app. 140; which I hope is app. 2 hours; Probably roll up in aluminum foil after about 10 minutes to help hold in juices/flavor Serving with an Australian Shiraz Thanksgiving, because of the number of people and food we will have at the house, is a great time to experiment dont you think. Ill keep everyone informed and take some pictures. Pray for me!!! (and our guests)"

Our instinct was to halve the olive oil--too much for one roast--and adjust the acid (lemon juice) downward to achieve balance with the reduced oil. Other flavors sounded spot-on. The cooking time seemed a tad long, so we suggested Jack check the temp on an instant-read about 1-1/4 hour into it as we didn't know what his grill temp would be. Any other suggestions for Jack?

Post Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:17 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5827
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
This one's part repost, part new stuff:

I think the baste above is pretty heavy on the oil, too.

I've roasted about 30 whole lambs over the past 10 years along with a few friends that own Greek restaurants. I posted a basting liquid recipe some time ago, but I've modified it a bit as it was pretty heavy on the acid (which these buddies of mine like). Even modified, it looks pretty acid, but remember - it's for basting, not marinating.

The original is here:
http://www.barbecuebible.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=14832

Since then, I've changed it up a lot:

1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or try apple cider vinegar)
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano (preferably Greek)
1 tbsp. chopped mint
1 tb onion powder
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
1 tbsp crushed rosemary
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (about 1-2 tbsp)

Place all ingredients into a sealed container (I use a Mason jar) and shake well (I just use the blender now, though). You can also increase the spices according to your own taste, or dilute the lemon juice slightly with plain water. You can also add curry powder for a more East Indian flair, or add cumin for more of a Middle-Eastern taste.

In addition, before cooking I cut small slits in the lamb and insert small slivers of fresh garlic. My Greek friend who taught me this recipe tends to use entire bulbs of garlic instead, but then, when we cook together we roast an entire lamb on a spit so we also make 8-12 batches of the above marinade as well.

As for the cooking method, I prefer to cook my lamb indirectly over a charcoal fire using a rotisserie. A gas grill with a rotisserie also works well with this recipe as well. Just make sure to baste often - my Greek friends and I use a spit over a couple of 4-foot-long charcoal troughs, so we baste it every 15 minutes or so. Your own results will vary, but 30 minutes between bastings may be OK. I tend to crank up the heat a bit at home and stick to the 15-minute basting schedule.

I usually just use a meat thermometer and cook it to medium-rare or medium, depending on who's coming to dinner. Also, here's a meat temperature guide for lamb I got from About.com:

Rare: 135°
Medium-rare: 140° to 150°
Medium: 160°
Well done: 165° or a bit above

Hope this helps.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:06 pm
Nancy Lou BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 64
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
This sounds awesome, and couldn't have come at a better time as I just bought leg of lamb. Thank you so much!!!

Nancy Lou

Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:55 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5827
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Nancy Lou wrote:
This sounds awesome, and couldn't have come at a better time as I just bought leg of lamb. Thank you so much!!!

Nancy Lou


You're welcome. Let me know how it turns out. Like I mentioned above, the guys I adapted the above baste from like their lamb with a LOT of spices and acid taste. Apparently it really cuts the graininess of the lamb fat.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:30 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5827
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
So - did it work?
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.


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