Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb

This leg of lamb is butterflied for easy grilling and marinated with rosemary and garlic to give it great flavor. Make it for a big summer cook-out, or even for a twist on Easter dinner.

Where to start? Somehow I suspect that the following method—fat is good, flame is good—is going to get me in trouble with some of you. But since this was the best lamb roast I’ve ever eaten in my life, I will forge ahead and tell you how we did it.

The lamb roast was succulent—crusty, flavorful char on the outside, pink and tender on the inside.

Note that the more fat on the lamb roast, the more likely you’ll have flare-ups when you grill. Flare-ups are okay as long as they are controlled and don’t get out of hand.

What Is A Butterfield Leg of Lamb?

Why use a butterflied the leg of lamb? A butterflied lamb roast is one that has the leg bone removed so that you can lay the roast out flat. You can do it yourself or have your butcher do it. Laying the roast flat on the grill helps it cook faster and more evenly.

To make it easier to turn on the grill, I recommend inserting a few metal skewers through the lamb, crosswise and parallel to the surface of the lamb.

Marinate Before Grilling

By the way, it used to be that people were worried about char grilling being carcinogenic. Turns out if you marinate the meat in an acid-based marinade first, you negate the cancer-causing elements. (Grillers everywhere rejoice.)

The marinade I’m using for this recipe is made with onion, garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil. Purée it all in a food processor and let the lamb marinate in it for one to two hours before grilling.

What to Serve with Grilled Lamb

Some people take offense at the very idea of using mint jelly with lamb. I wouldn’t have lamb without it. Homemade mint jelly is fantastic with lamb. And if we’re out, I’ve been known to chop up some fresh mint leaves just to go with the lamb. So, to each her own when it comes to the jelly. (Mint chimichurri or Horseradish sauce are also good!)

For side dishes, try braised leeks, a fresh arugula salad, or grilled asparagus.

Love Lamb? Try these recipes!

  • Spicy Lamb Stew with Chickpeas
  • Roast Leg of Lamb
  • Lamb Shank Stew with Root Vegetables
  • Lamb Braised in Milk with Fennel
  • Spring Lamb Stew

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