Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb

by Cathy Pollak
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Grilled-ButterfliedLambWe have a whole lamb in our freezer. My husband couldn't be happier. He is the resident lamb fanatic in our household and it turns out so are my boys. I didn't grow up with lamb as part of my regular diet, so it has taken longer for me to get used to the taste. As many of you know, it's very different than beef.

So many recipes try to cover up or cut through the taste of the lamb with various sauces or sides, the most popular being mint jelly. My husband prefers to taste the flavor of the meat so we rarely serve it. It would work well with this dish if you would like to include it. 

This recipe does a great job tenderizing the meat, while providing lots of flavor. Honestly, it was delicious, BUT I would personally not attempt it without a wireless meat thermometer. You need one in order to not overcook a cut of meat like this. Plus you will use it constantly. It's a wonderful kitchen tool and cheap investment!

The herbs in my garden are exploding right now. It's so nice to run down and grab what I need for any meal. It saves so much money. Do you have an herb garden? What are you growing this year? However, my basil has seen better days. I think its getting eaten by grasshoppers. How does one control grasshoppers?

I chose to puree the marinade so it wouldn't have a bunch of little bits to burn during grilling...especially the garlic. Burnt garlic has a horrible, bitter taste you wouldn't want on this meat.

Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Marinade

Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for | Serves: 8-10


  • 5-7 lbleg of lamb, boneless and butterflied (make sure it opens flat)
  • 1 cupred wine
  • 1 cupsoy sauce
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoonsminced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoonschopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoonschopped fresh oregano
  • 1 Tablespoonchopped fresh curly parsley
  • 1 Tablespoonfresh chopped thyme
  • 1 Tablespooncoarse ground pepper


  • Place leg of lamb in a large pan where it can lay flat. (I used a 15 x 10 Pyrex dish).
  • In the bowl of a blender combine red wine, shallots, garlic, rosemary, oregano, parsley, thyme and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour over lamb and cover dish. Marinate for 8 hours, turning lamb several times. This can be done in the refrigerator but I would suggest removing lamb from the refrigerator an hour ahead of time. This will help reduce the cooking time and keep the outside from burning.
  • Preheat gas grill on high. Start with searing the meat, fat side down on the hotter part of the grill for 4 minutes. Turn over and sear another four minutes. Move lamb to cooler part of the grill and turn the temperature down to low. Insert meat thermometer into the thickest part of the lamb and cover grill. Continue to cook until meat has reached 125 degrees F. Place meat on a large baking sheet and tent loosely with foil. Let sit for 15 before carving into slices. The lamb will be medium rare.


Cathy owns a vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  She is a food writer for Davis Life Magazine and blogs daily about wine, food and everyday living.  She lives with her husband and two sons.  You can visit her at

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