The Ultimate Leg of Lamb

Last Easter I attempted to cook a leg of lamb and it was an epic failure.  My first mistake was only buying 1/2 a leg.  I learned the hard way there is not really a lot of meat on 1/2 a leg, most of it was bone.  The whole thing was kinda puny looking, not the dramatic hunk meat I needed for a blog post, let alone feed four hungry people. It’s was definitely not one of my best outings. But I’m a man who learn from his mistakes, I’ve had a whole year to prepare for this year’s Easter Feast.

Leg of Lamb on the Big Green Egg

This year I started with a WHOLE leg of lamb, total weight was about 9lbs. (Be sure to have your butcher remove the H-bone)  First, I removed all the fat and silver skin from the leg.  Then I took my knife and scruffed it up, I made shallow cross cuts in the meat to give the rub and past something to stick too.

To season the leg, I started with a light coating of olive oil the a generous sprinkling of my Casa Seasoning. Then, I let the leg rest and allow some time for the salt in the rub to start penetrating the meat while I make the Dolly’s Lamb Paste.  I found the recipe for the Dolly’s Paste on Meathead Goldwyn’s Amazingribs.comThis is a great paste, it really brings out all the great flavor of the lamb.  I did tweak the recipe a little bit, I added a teaspoon of  thyme.  Meathead has the best BBQ & Grilling blogs on the internet.  Whenever I need information about anything related to BBQ I check first.  

Dolly’s Lamb Paste

Dolly’s Lamb Paste

2 tablespoon dried rosemary leaves, broken or crushed a bit by hand
1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground bay leaves
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
10 cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed, or minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender and mix.  If it’s a little thick just add more olive oil to thin it out.
After mixing the paste I applied good thick coating to the entire leg, really working it into the meat and all those little crevasses from the scruffing.  I used every last bit of the paste, I wanted to pack at much flavor as I could onto this hunk of meat.  Now, I left the lamb to rest while I set up my Big Green Egg.
Leg of Lamb with Dolly Plaste
I filled my BGE with oak charcoal and chunks of pean wood chunks for a light smoke flavor. I dropped in the platesetter and the drip pan filled with water.  Once the Egg was up to 300º I put the leg on let it cook for about 2 hours. I placed a temp probe in the deepest part of the leg and cooked it to 125º.  About 1/2 way through the cook I flipped the leg to get both side browned. After my meat alarm went off, I pull the leg off and let it rest in a pan covered with foil for about 30-40 minutes.
Now for the fun part.  I pulled the plate setter out, opened up bottom vent and let
the fire get smoking hot.  I put the leg back on the Egg and seared each side.  I kept flipping the leg every few minutes. 
After each flip I brushed the hot side of the leg down with olive oil.  During the sear the fat drips off the meat into the coals and really gets the flames going, so it doesn’t take long to get a good sear on the meat. 

Alright, so my leg of lamb has been seasoned with a rub, then I applied the flavorful  Dolly paste,  it’s been smoked and seared you would think that would be enough?  Nope.  I’ve got one more trick up my sleeve to add even more flavor, board sauce.  I first read about board sauces in Adam Perry Lang’s book Serious BBQ, and let me tell you, it’s a great idea.  I started by chopping some cloves of garlic, fresh rosemary, thyme on my cutting board.  After everything is thoroughly chopped I  poured in 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a little bit of red wine vinegar.  I worked it around the cutting board to get it all mixed together.  I laid the leg of lamb down in the board sauce and started slicing it.  As I sliced it the meat juices mixed the board sauce, I then dipped the sliced meat in the board sauce.

Leg of Lamb with Board Sauce

Do I really need to tell you how good this leg of lamb turned out?  I’m sure you can tell  by the pics it was pretty good.  It phenomenal!  The leg with the rub and Dolly paste was great, but the addition of the board sauce took it to another level. The fresh herbs in the sauce really brought out all the flavors in the lamb. It was such a good trick Cheryl said I have to make a board sauce with every meat I cook from now on.  If you like leg of lamb give this recipe a try, and be sure to send me your pics if you do.

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