While we’re pretty sure you’d rather be fishing this weekend, some of you (us) are going to be entertaining over the Easter holiday weekend.
It’s not too late to spice up your Easter dinner with this southwestern-inspired take on grilled leg of lamb; put this baby on to marinade tonight or tomorrow morning and you’ll be a certified hero come Sunday afternoon…
My crew has been big fans of grilled lamb for years, though this is the recipe they keep asking for when one of us gets the hankering for lamb on the grill.
I’m not sure where we were in Austin a few years ago when we first had this – it was probably at some event of Chef Libby’s. And though we’ve tinkered around the edges a bit with the recipe, this is pretty danged close to the recipe she scrawled for me on the back of a receipt back in 2010.
It’s worth tracking down the fresh oregano (a bit early for the herb gardens to be ready) and the ancho chile powder (check the hispanic food aisle for the packages of imported spices and chile powders – typically a much more economical buy). And don’t skimp on the garlic – Libby’s recipe called for 14-16 cloves – the garlic has a critical but not overwhelming impact on the final flavor. Finally, consider letting it marinate for a couple of days – the flavor just gets better.
1 cup white wine
1/3 cup good olive oil
6 tbsp. fresh oregano
2 green onions
10 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tbsp. ancho chile powder
3 tbsp. good blended chili powder
4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 and 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 generous tbsp. fresh ground black pepper
1- 4 to 5 lb. leg of lamb, trimmed and ‘butterflied’
Marinade magic. Combine everything but the lamb in your trusty blender and blend well; add more wine if too thick. Slather the leg of lamb in the marinade, rubbing it into the nooks and crannies; place the leg of lamb (covered in all of the marinade) in the fridge overnight. Turn it once before you go to bed and again in the morning.
Grill time. Fire the grill, you’ll need a fire with some staying power – we like this over oak and natural hardwood charcoal. Gently shake excess marinade from the lamb (but don’t shake it all off) and let it rumble along for 15-18 minutes per side. It’s medium rare at 130 though you’ll want this big piece of meat to rest for 15 minutes or so.
Serve. Slice thinly against the grain and pour some of those incredible pan juices that oozed out while it was resting over the meat. (Wow.)