A few weeks ago, the American Lamb Board (yes! we love them) invited me to participate in their Summer O-Lamb-Pics recipe contest. So I figured, what better time to put our rotisserie to good use?
When we got our BBQ last summer, I couldn’t turn down the option to upgrade to a rotisserie grill. Just like a new home that promises to be “an entertainer’s dream,” the rotisserie grill makes you conjure up all those illusions of the grill master you aspire to but will never be. For god’s sake, I was planning to rotisserie a turkey on that thing.
It never happened.
Fortunately, a gigantic cold-packed box arrived on my doorstep last Friday. At first, I thought I was about to unwrap an entire lamb. And seeing as how Teddy is approximately the same size and texture of a lamb in her freshly-buzzed summer coat, I wasn’t sure I was ready to brave into butchery (despite the fact that Resnick means butcher in Russian, there are no butchers I can turn to in this family).
Lucky for me, the massive outer box revealed a smaller inner box which revealed a perfectly trimmed and trussed boneless leg of lamb. The ideal rotisserie candidate.
For this recipe, I wanted to stay true to the classic lamb seasonings (rosemary, mint), but also throw in a little twist. Since I love the whole cumin-lemon-herbs thing, I incorporated them for a somewhat classic, somewhat Middle Eastern twist. Served with mint yogurt sauce and fresh couscous, it was a totally easy, totally tasty summer dish.
Rotisserie Leg of Lamb with Mint Yogurt Sauce
- Boneless leg of lamb, trussed with butcher’s twine
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Mint yogurt sauce (recipe follows)
Marinate lamb: remove lamb from the fridge about 45 minutes before marinating. Combine the olive oil, lemon, garlic, rosemary, cumin, salt, pepper and lemon zest in a bowl and whisk to combine. Put lamb in a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade over it. Seal the bag and massage the lamb like someone you love. Marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour, turning the bag over and massaging the marinade into the lamb every 15-20 minutes.
Prep grill: preheat your grill to high on all burners. You want the temp to be about 500 degrees when you put the lamb in (this took about 15 minutes on my grill). Have a foil-lined drip pan ready to go.
Remove the lamb from the marinade and reserve leftover marinade for basting. Put the lamb on the rotisserie attachment and carefully attach it to the grill, placing the drip pan underneath.
Let’s Grill: Roast on high with the lid closed for about 10-15 minutes until you have a nice golden char on the outside of the lamb.
Turn off the center grill and turn the sides down to low. Open the grill lid to cool things down to about 300 degrees. Pour about 2 cups of water into the drip pan – this’ll help keep the meat nice and moist while roasting. Baste the lamb with the leftover marinade.
Continue roasting the lamb with the lid covered, basting occasionally, until it’s around 135 degrees for rare, 140 for medium rare and higher if you like to ruin your meat (j/k I still love you). This took only about 30 minutes on our BBQ, but it totally depends on your grill and your cut of meat, so use a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg to check.
Once it’s done, transfer to a foil-lined platter and pour the drip pan juices over the meat. Allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
Serve with warm pita bread, couscous and lemon mint yogurt sauce
Lemon Mint Yogurt Sauce
- 2 containers Fage 0% yogurt (go with a higher percentage if you like a richer sauce)
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
- Kosher salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
The lamb turned out pretty darn tasty… we barely had any leftovers! Give it a try this summer, it’s a great way to bring some fresh new flavors to the BBQ season. You can get fresh local lamb at the Santa Monica Wednesday farmer’s market.