Luscious Leg of Lamb

A beautiful piece of meat to prepare for the holidays.

Leg of Lamb
Matt Lincoln/Getty Images

Who says you can’t bust out your grill for the holidays? Not only is your backyard smoker perfect for firing a hearty leg of lamb, it’ll also free up your oven for side dishes.

But to do it right, be sure to have the lamb butterflied, or cut in such a way that it “unfolds” to a uniform thickness. (Your butcher can do this easily for you.) And while most marinade recipes for lamb contain tons of olive oil, opt for ours, which cuts it out completely.

That makes for pure protein flavor and about 1,000 fewer calories. You’re welcome.

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Prep time

15 min.

Cook time

45 min.

  • 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 boneless leg of lamb, about 6 lbs, butterflied

In a food processor, puree lemons—skin and all—with rosemary, garlic, and salt to a paste. Rub the paste into the lamb and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Heat a charcoal or gas grill to a medium-high temperature.

Laying the lamb flat, grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 125°F—about 15 minutes per side—then remove to a platter. (Alternately, roast the lamb uncovered in a 425° oven for about 45 minutes.)

Loosely cover with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.