Marinated and grilled leg of lamb makes the perfect Easter entree. It can be prepared the day ahead, then needs little attention while it grills (or roasts) and you attend to the side dishes. This tried-and-true marinade for lamb draws its flavor from Dijon mustard, garlic, onion, lemon and spices and herbs. —Robin Mather
If you don't plan to grill, roast the lamb at 425 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 135 degrees in the thickest part. You'll have rare, medium-rare and well-done lamb.
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil
- Juice of 3 lemons
- 1/2 Cup dry red wine (cheap is OK)
- 1 large onion, peeled, quartered
- 6 to 8 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 Cup Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary
- 2 Teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 Teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 Teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 butterflied boneless leg of lamb (about 7 pounds) or 2 butterflied legs (3 to 4 pounds each)
Step 1: In a blender or food processor, combine 1 1/2 cups olive oil, juice of 3 lemons, 1/2 cup dry red wine, 1 large peeled and quartered onion, 6 to 8 large peeled garlic cloves, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried basil, 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper. Mix until thick and creamy, about 1 minute.
Step 2: If the butcher has tied the leg of lamb, untie it. Lay it out fat side down on a rimmed baking sheet; using a sharp knife, slash the thickest parts of the lamb. Pour about half the marinade over the meat, and rub it in well with your hands. Turn the lamb over and pour the remaining marinade over the fat side, again rubbing it in well.
Step 3: Fold the lamb in thirds and put it into a zip-close bag or shallow pan. Pour remaining marinade from the baking sheet over the lamb. Refrigerate 8 to 24 hours, turning the bag or flipping the lamb every 2 hours or so.
Step 4: At grilling time, make a hot fire. Unfold the lamb and pat away the excess marinade. Discard remaining marinade. Put the lamb on the grill cut side up and cook for 9 minutes. Turn the lamb over and cook an additional 9 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a platter and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.