GRILLED BUTTERFLIED LEG OF LAMB

GRILLED BUTTERFLIED LEG OF LAMB

“Grilling, broiling, barbecuing — whatever you want to call it  —  is an art, not just a matter of building a pyre and throwing on a piece of meat as a sacrifice to the gods of the stomach.”  James Beard

A butterflied leg of lamb cooks quickly, indoors or out, and it does not present the carving challenge of a whole leg.  It will serve between six and eight, depending on appetites and the number of other dishes on the menu (if you’re feeding fewer, cook half of it and freeze the rest.)

You can ask your butcher to butterfly a leg of lamb for you or, if necessary, you can do it yourself:

o             Place the leg on a large cutting board, meatier side down, and prod it with your fingers to find the bone.

o             Make a vertical slit down the entire length of the bone, then start cutting around the bone, as close to the bone as possible.  Continue cutting until you can lift the bone free.

o             Open the lamb and cut part way through any thick parts, turning the meat out to create an even thickness.  Cut away any fat and sinew.

o             Put a sheet of plastic wrap over the lamb and pound it lightly with a meat pounder or rolling pin to flatten it slightly.  You want an even thickness throughout so that all the meat will finish grilling at the same time.

o             You’re now ready to marinate or season the lamb and grill it according to the instructions in your recipe.

If it rains on your parade, broil the lamb under a pre-heated broiler about 4 inches from the flame for 12 to 14 minutes on each side for medium-rare meat.  The lamb can also be roasted in the middle of a pre-heated 425* oven until the meat registers 130* on an instant-read thermometer, about 25 minutes.

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