Butterflied Leg of Lamb, 2 ways: grilled, and smoked/reverse-seared

Discussion in 'Lamb' started by snorkelinggirl, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    For tonight's dinner I decided to butterfly out a half bone-in leg of lamb, and try preparing it a couple of different ways. I boned it out, then butterflied it, pounded it to even thickness of about 1 to 1-1/2 inches, and then split it into two halves.

    On one half, I marinated in with garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, dijon mustard, honey, EVOO, salt and pepper. Then smoked it using orange wood until IT hit 115 deg F. Then we reverse-seared it on the Weber grill a few minutes each side, let it rest for 15 minutes, then sliced.

    One the other half, I marinated it in a kalamata olive tapenade, then grilled it on the Weber with direct heat for about 5 minutes per side, and finished it on indirect heat until IT hit about 125 deg F.  Let it rest for 15 minutes, then sliced.

    This is the half leg of lamb, shank end. First I boned it out.

    Then I scored the top and bottom surfaces in an alternating pattern so that I could pound it out to an even thickness.

    Covered in saran wrap, and pounded it out to an even-ish thickness of 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick.

    Divided it in half following a seam between muscle bundles.

    Kalamata olive tapenade: 1/3 cup whole pitted kalamata olives, 1 large chopped garlic clove, 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest, 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 Tbsp pomegranate balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp EVOO.

    Blend together in food processor until it forms a paste.

    Generously smeared the kalamata olive tapenade on one section (and a small piece that fell off from the rest of the section).

    Smeared the other half with a marinade made from minced garlic, minced rosemary, lemon zest, dijon mustard, honey, EVOO, salt and pepper.

    Let both halves marinate for about 6 hours. Don't brush the olive tapenade off before grilling, leave it on so it forms a crust.

    Here is the half that was smoked using orange wood to an IT of 115 deg F, then seared on both sides, rested, and sliced. It ended up being about 1 hour of time in the smoker.

    Here is the kalamata olive tapenade half that was grilled only, first with direct, then with indirect heat until an IT of about 125 deg F. Then rested and sliced.

    The final plated shot with a little of each, along with some steamed rice and sauteed zucchini.

    The verdict? 

    First, butterflying a deboned leg of lamb and pounding it to an even thickness is a fantastic way to cook leg of lamb. You can marinate it however you want and cook it like a thick steak. A very versatile way of prepping leg of lamb. The time spent deboning and butterflying up front is somewhat made up for by how easy it is to slice up after cooking.  The leg was very tender after the time spent in the marinade and with only cooking it rare-medium-rare. I didn't even pay attention to whether I was carving with or against the grain.

    The kalamata olive tapenade is a fantastic marinade. I don't know if it would get overpowering if marinated for a longer period of time, but at 6 hours it was delicious and complemented the lamb well.  I liked it better than the other marinade I made, although the flavor on the other was good too.

    The orange wood was really nice with the lamb. Maybe only my imagination, but it did seem to enhance the citrus taste of the lemon zest. The 1 hour of smoke that the lamb got was enough to give an extra layer of flavor to the lamb, but not so much that it overpowered the flavor of the lamb or the marinade.

    I'll definitely use the butterflying method and kalamata olive tapenade with my next leg of lamb too. Either the smoking and reverse-searing, or the direct-indirect grill method worked great. The lamb was perfectly rare-medium-rare and delicious with both methods.

    Thanks so much for looking at my post!!  Have a great week everyone!

  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I am the only member of my immediate family that LOVES LAMB, so I rarely get to eat it. That being said..." I AM SO FREAKIN' JEALOUS OF YOU AND THAT MEAL THAT I COULD...[​IMG]..."

    Wow, that is some of the most perfectly prepared Lamb I have seen posted and your complete and detailed description of your process is Flawless! I have watched your work since Day One and am most impressed. Your are quickly growing from Newbie to MVP...I see OTBS in your future. Nice Job!...JJ
  3. Looks great, Clarissa!
    I love lamb!

  4. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Holy moly!  You just made my week, Chef. Thank you so much!!!

    Have a great night and week!

  5. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you, Martin!!  I agree, lamb is lovely.

    Hope you have a great night and week! 

  6. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      Awesome post Clarissa!  I am inspired to try leg of lamb!

  7. xutfuzzy

    xutfuzzy Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Most excellent!  I've done marinades very similar to these with leg of lamb, and it is terrific smoked.  When I move it to indirect heat on my charcoal Weber, I like to toss a couple of fresh rosemary sprigs on the coals, and when I use my smoker and AMZPS, I do the same thing by tossing a sprig of rosemary on the pellets. 

  8. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you!  I hope you do give leg of lamb a shot.  It takes well to both smoking and grilling. As long as you don't overcook it, it is tender and flavorful.

    Have a great day!

    Hi fuzzy,

    Thank you so much for the compliment!  I love the suggestion about rosemary, I'll definitely try that next time. Thanks for the suggestion, and have a great day!

  9. papacurtis

    papacurtis Smoke Blower

    I am blown away by this. I could eat lamb every day. Fantastic post and pics Clarissa. Thanks for sharing. For me,, the smell of lamb, rosemary and garlic brings out something primordial in me. I'm lucky that my family likes it too! Got to try that greek tapenade as well. Smoke On!
  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't know how I missed this thread. I wish the rest of my family liked lamb. Then I'd get to cook it more often.

    That's the money shot!!! Looks fantastic and both the methods sound fantastic!!
  11. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks so much, Papa!  I agree with you about the smell of lamb, rosemary, and garlic. A combination made in heaven. I hope you will give the tapenade a try sometime, I couldn't believe how nicely it complemented the lamb.  Have a great day!

    Hey Case, 

    Thanks for the compliments!  This was my first time trying smoking followed by reverse sear.  You were the inspiration on that!  I might have to check into getting one of those mini WSM like you have to make it easier to do.

    Have a great week!

  12. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hello,Clarissa. You have presented a great post on the Lamb, however I don't like the animal and the Family doesn't either, I know our loss, but Texans are Anal...[​IMG]
  13. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No worries, leaves more lamb for meeeee!  [​IMG]
  14. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Clarissa.....beautiful!  Thanks for sharing this....hmmmm....may have to try Lamb on the family again.  And not tell them what it is!  [​IMG]

    Q-views are great...and the explanation wonderfully done!

    Good job!

  15. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you, Miss Kat!  I appreciate your compliments and checking out my post!

    Have a great night!

  16. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Right now is a good time to pick up a Smokey Joe off Craigslist for cheap! BiMart has been carrying the 32qt tamale pots for $29. Look in the household area. If not there check out the smoker/camping isle.

  17. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Beautiful job Clarissa.....inspired enough I might look around for a small leg to do up. Big fan of tapenade on anything...lol....and EVOO, garlic and rosemary on lamb is da bomb. I'm surprised we don't see more locally sourced lamb in this area. I know the Co-Op in Corvallis has some. Anything special about that critter of yours? C-ya around the forum....Willie
  18. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Willie,

    Thanks for looking in, and for the compliment!  I've been buying lamb by the side or full lamb from Bald Hill Farm in Corvallis. Great flavor, best lamb I've ever had. I got a full lamb back in March for $4.10 per lb hanging weight, and that worked out to about $6.10 per lb for about 45 lbs of meat. Much cheaper than buying lamb by the cut at the Co-op. I can give you more details if you want, just send me a PM.  Rain Sheep in Albany also sells direct to consumers by the cut, side, or full animal.  I get lamb neck from them once in a while for a good price (great for braising).

    Olive tapenade on the lamb was amazing. My new fav way to marinate lamb. Have a great day!

  19. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    that olive rub/marinade looks so good! that whole plate looks awesome!
  20. Clarissa,

    That looks fantastic. I've never smoked lamb but obviously, I need to try! I have to say that I'm a fanatic about reverse searing and that lamb shows how good it can come out.

    Great job!


Share This Page