Try something different from the traditional baked ham. Marinated Grilled Leg of Lamb is a delicious main course to serve for Easter dinner!
Marinated Grilled Leg of Lamb
- Baking stone or pan to diffuse heat
- V-shaped roasting rack
- Large covered dish or plastic food storage bags for marinating
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary chopped
- 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 2 4-5 lb boneless legs of lamb
- The night before grilling, mix together the olive oil, wine, rosemary, and garlic in a small bowl.
- Place the leg of lamb roasts in a dish or plastic storage bags.
- Pour the marinade over the roasts and place them in the refrigerator to season overnight.
- The next day, light the grill and heat to a low heat. I use a Big Green Egg and let it heat to about 300°.
- Place a baking stone or cookie sheet on the grill rack. Then place the V-shaped roasting rack on the stone or sheet. This will smoke and roast the meat with diffused heat.
- Place the roasts in the V-shaped rack and close the lid on the grill. Watch the temperature and keep it steady at about 300°.
- Roast the lamb for about 1½ hours until medium rare. If the doneness indicators in the roast don't pop up, that's good. Lamb is best when served medium-rare and no more than medium.
- After about 1½ hours, remove the lamb roasts from the fire and place them in a shallow pan or on a platter to rest. Let them rest for about 10 minutes to allow the juices to distribute throughout the meat.
- Slice it thin and serve.
I like to serve leg of lamb for Easter dinner.
Lamb is a rich meat that is best when served medium-rare and absolutely delicious cooked on a grill or smoker. I have a Big Green Egg and follow cooking directions for that kind of outdoor cooker. You will need to follow your own outdoor cooker’s instructions as each one is a little different.
Also, I prepare two legs of lamb for four people. We like having leftovers for later.
Marinade for Lamb
Lamb pairs very well with Mediterranian-style ingredients: olive oil, garlic, rosemary, red wine, oregano, basil, Parmesan cheese, feta cheese, etc. In America, lamb traditionally is served with mint jelly. I’ve never been a fan of that combination.
For the marinade for this recipe, I use garlic, rosemary, olive oil, dry red wine, salt, and pepper. These ingredients pair well not only with the meat but with the smoky flavors imparted by the Big Green Egg.
Mixing the marinade in a food processor is the fastest way to prepare it. Whisking works fine as well.
I place meat in a large Pyrex covered dish to marinade overnight before preparing on the Egg.
Cooking the Marinated Leg of Lamb
I heat the Egg to 300 degrees. Then I place a round baking stone on the grill rack, then on top of that I place a V-shaped roasting rack. This created indirect heat cooking the leg of lamb evenly while giving it that wonderful smoky grilled flavor and color.
The two legs of lamb in the photos have those pop-up doneness detectors. Ignore them. If you wait for the doneness poppers to pop up, the lamb is overcooked.
A 4-5 pound leg of lamb on indirect heat on a grill at 300 degrees takes about 1 1/2 hours to reach medium-rare.
Cook the meat a little longer if it isn’t done to your satisfaction. Overcooked meat cannot be cooked a little less.
Side Dishes for Marinated Grilled Leg of Lamb
Black & Blue Potatoes, new potatoes topped with a blue cheese and black pepper sauce, go well with this main dish.
Roasted whole green beans and baby carrots seasoned with a sprinkle of brown sugar and red chili pepper flakes are pretty and delicious.
What to Do with Leftover Lamb
Finally, what to do with the leftover roast?
The next day’s Lambwiches are so good!
Slice the cold meat even thinner. Spread course-ground Dijon onto two slices of good sourdough bread Then add the cold lamb. Salt and pepper the lamb. Then add fresh spinach leaves and sliced tomato.
Yes, I got the idea for this sandwich from The Princess Bride.
Miracle Max is right. Try it!
Marinated Grilled Leg of Lamb is a wonderful break from traditional ham and turkey on holidays.