Nothing enhances the flavor of meats more than grilling with wood or charcoal. Humans evolved as meat eaters. The invention and use of fire for cooking meats still ranks #1 in my book of culinary advancements. Today, I have the pleasure of slow-roasting a leg of lamb on an innovative grill that has its origin in Africa, the Cobb Grill. I’ll use Kingsford charcoal for heat, and some Mesquite wood for flavor. This grill also allows me to increase the moisture during the cooking process by adding liquids in a small reservoir around the charcoal. I’m using a Cabernet Sauvignon from Wente Vineyards in California for both added moisture and flavor.
Here's how it's done:
- 1 boneless leg of lamb
- About 2-3 cloves of garlic, heads removed and peeled
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary
- Freshly ground black pepper, for rub
- Salt, for rub
- Paprika, for rub
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for rub
- About 8-10 small red or white potatoes, for serving (optional)
- About 8-10 whole carrots, stalks removed, for serving (optional)
Remove the leg of lamb from the refrigerator and allow it to come up to nearly room temp as you get it ready for the grill. Start by making small incisions on the surface of the lamb deep and wide enough to accept a clove of garlic, and a small sprig of rosemary. I used the string that bound the roast as a guide and it worked perfectly. I think it was roughly a 1-inch square grid.
Work a clove of garlic and sprig of rosemary into all the incisions. If you want a more intense garlic flavor, both sides can be done. I chose to just cover the top and side surfaces. Mix freshly ground black and red pepper, salt, and paprika in a small bowl and pour in olive oil until you have a brushing consistency that can cover the lamb. Liberally brush the surface with the olive oil and spices and let it rest.
Start the charcoal for the grill in a chimney starter, or for this grill they recommended a strike-a-fire stick. It worked perfectly, and the charcoal was quickly ashed over with grey indicating that it was ready to start cooking. Add wine to the grill if it is equipped with a reservoir for liquids like this grill. Before you put on the meat, add your wood chips for flavor to the charcoal. Brush on a little more of the spice mixture and place the roast on the grill. Surround the meat with potatoes and carrots, if desired. Cover and let the heat and smoke do its magic.*
I wanted the meat to be rare and removed the leg from the grill when the internal temperature was near 130 degrees. Use foil to cover the roast and let it rest for 15 minutes. The internal temperature climbed to 138 degrees, perfect!
Now find some of your friends, carve, and enjoy along with roasted potatoes, carrots and vino!