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.
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!