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Grilled Leg of American Lamb

Grilled Leg of American Lamb

Join Matt Bolus as he makes this Grilled Leg of American Lamb with Cherries and Herbs


For the Spice Mix 

¼ cup Kosher salt 

2 tablespoons ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar 

1 teaspoon garlic powder 

⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Leg of American Lamb 

2 tablespoons butter 

1 shallot, diced 

1 tablespoon whole mustard seed

3 whole  star anise

4 whole cloves 

2 cinnamon sticks 

Pinch red pepper flakes, optional 

8 ounces dried cherries 

32 ounces black cherry juice 

1 boneless leg of American lamb, about 4 pounds

2 tablespoons chiffonade fresh mint 

2 tablespoons  chopped  fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons chiffonade fresh parsley 

¼ cup olive oil 

4 sprigs fresh rosemary 

½ bunch fresh mint


Preheat your grill to 225 degrees F.

In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients for the spice mix and stir together well.

In a medium sauce pot, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the shallots once the butter has completely melted and gently saute until they just start to soften.

Add the mustard seed, star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and red pepper flakes, if using,  and stir well to start heating the spices.

Add the dried cherries, all of the cherry juice, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the cherries have rehydrated and the juice has reduced by half, about 15 minutes.

Once the cherry mixture is reduced, remove the cherries from the liquid with a slotted spoon and put them into a medium bowl. While you do this, remove the cinnamon sticks, star anise, and as many of the cloves as you find. Allow the mixture to cool while you prepare the American lamb leg. Reserve the juice for basting the meat.

On a clean cutting board, open the leg up, cutting and pounding where needed to have an even thickness all the way around. Season the entire surface with ¼ of the spice mix.

Mix the chopped rosemary, and chiffonade of parsley and mint into the rehydrated cherries and mix well.

Spread the cooled cherry mixture in an even layer on the leg and carefully roll the leg back into a log. Secure the roll by tying it with butcher’s twine.

Coat the outside of the American lamb with the olive oil and then season it with the remaining spice mix.

Using more butcher’s twine, tie the stems of the rosemary sprigs and fresh mint to create a mop. Place the mop in the reserved cherry cooking liquid.

Place the leg on the grill grate of the preheated grill and close the lid. You will cook this leg low and slow until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees F, about 2 hours. As the leg cooks baste the meat every 15 minutes with the cherry cooking liquid using the fresh rosemary and mint mop.

Once the leg has reached 125 degrees F, remove it from the grill, cover it gently in aluminum foil and a kitchen blanket, and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes.

When the leg is finished resting, carefully remove the butcher’s twine and slice the leg into 1 inch-thick slices. Serve over an herbed polenta with a drizzle of basting liquid if any remains.

USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees with a 3 minute rest

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Grilled Leg of American Lamb with Herbed Polenta

Grilled Leg of American Lamb with Herbed Polenta.

USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees with a 3 minute rest.

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