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lamb help please

My experience with lamb is limited. I've only ever made one recipe over and over - rack of lamb with a dijon/almond/mint/anchovie crust. It's delicious. I would like to try to bbq some lamb this weekend - but I'm not sure how! Any advice?
I've only ever purchased racks, but I'm assuming chops would be best to bbq?
please help!


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  1. lamb loin chops are great on the grill, you can do them simple with just salt and pepper like a good steak. easy to cook, hard to screw up, not a ton of work.

    perhaps my favorite grilled lamb recipe is for a boneless butterflied leg of lamb in an indian marinade, from madhur jaffrey. there is a good adaptation of it online here:


    1. I use kosher salt and pepper brush with a little evoo then grill then just like you would a steak. I like my lamb very rare and thats how I eat steak as well so the doneness factor is your choice. I like to serve grilled lamb with tzatziki or plain greek yogurt and fresh squeezed lemon.

      1. As others have alluded to - it's not too hard. If you can cook beef on the grill you can do lamb. Loin chops, rack, leg are the top 3 on the grill for me.

        1. A boneless leg of lamb that's been opened up (cut off the net bag that it comes in), and unroll it. Marinate it in olive oil, minced garlic and rosemary and perhaps a bit of acid, and grill as you would beef to medium-rare. Seriously good.

          Yogurt marinades are also very good. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/308442

          3 Replies
          1. re: LindaWhit

            Yep. I am with you. I use lemon as the acid and a bit of olive oil. Marinate it overnight and then plop it on a slow fire. Lots of roasted veggies and maybe some fresh asparagus (which can aslo be put onj the grill or roasted) and you have a meal!

            1. re: LindaWhit

              One thing to consider is to get a bone-in leg. Boneless works wonderfully as well, but don't think you HAVE to have a boneless leg. The prep in terms of marinating, etc can be used, and the grill can be used as well (indirect grilling).

              1. re: LindaWhit

                Count me in on the olive oil, garlic and rosemary. I turned one of my sisters on to that prep a couple of years ago, and it's been her go-to lamb preparation ever since.

                Nothing wrong with yogurt, either...especially if it's headed for pita bread. :P

              2. Marinate cubed lamb and then grill - 1/2c packed fresh cilantro, 3 cloves garlic, 1/4 dark raisins, 1/2t garam masala, 1 1/2 lemon juice, zest, 1/2c olive oil, S&P pureed.

                Or leg of lamb glazed with balsamic and red wine (recipe on request)

                4 Replies
                1. re: alwayscooking

                  Requesting recipe, please. Three of my favorite things - lamb, balsamic and wine. ;-)

                  1. re: alwayscooking

                    Leg of Lamb Glazed with Balsamic and Red Wine
                    from The Italian Country Table by Lynn Rossetto Kasper (great cookbook)

                    1/3c packed fresh basil
                    2 thick slices lean pancetta
                    leaves from 4" rosemary
                    6 branches 6" rosemary
                    6 large garlic cloves
                    1T olive oil
                    1t dried basil
                    1/4t salt
                    1/2c good quality commercial balsamic
                    5-7lb leg of lamb
                    2 medium red onions in 1" dice
                    1/3c herbed Sicilian or Kalamata oilves
                    2c dry red wine
                    1/2c water

                    Season lamb a day ahead if possible. Mince fresh basil, pancetta, rosemary leaves, and garlic. Add oil, dried basil, salt, pepper, and 2T of balsamic. Insert mixture into 20+ slits in the lamb and rub about 3T over the leg.

                    Spread onions, rosemary branches and olives in a shallow pan and set the lamb on top. Roast for 20 min in a 350 oven and then pour 1/4c balsamic and 1c wine over the leg. Roast 1hr basting often. Add another 1/2c wine and roast until done (130 med rare) about 20 minutes.

                    Remove the lamb and keep warm. Make a pan sauce by adding 2T balsamic and boil until thick. Add 1/2 wine and boil down by 2/3's then stir in water. Simmer until warm.

                    Ms. Kasper recommends an approach for the leftovers: warm slices and sauce and serve with country bread, greens, onions, vinaigrette and a mixture of young sheep cheese with 1/2c sour cream. It's very good.

                    1. re: alwayscooking

                      That looks GREAT, thanks! And I love the recipe quantity of "leaves from 4" of rosemary". That's a great way to give a good idea of how much rosemary vs. "2 Tbsp." I always over-cut the stem of rosemary from my plant when I'm trying to judge how much I might need.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        It's really good and very very rich. Let me know if you make it.

                        Happy eating.

                  2. Thanks to you all for the advice. I'm going to be a little busy this weekend, so I think I'll try to butterfly a leg of lamb another time - thanks for the recipes.
                    How does one bbq a rack of lamb? I assume you separate it and cook the pieces individually rather than as an entire rack? Sorry if this is a dumb question.
                    I think I might try some loin chops....

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: tochipotle

                      toch - you can also look for lamb arm steaks to grill. Gives you a bit more meat than loin chops, but just as easy to grill.

                      1. re: tochipotle

                        you can do a rack of lamb on the grill. if you have a kettle-style build an indirect fire. from there i'd cook the rack in the way that's closest to the way you do it indoors. if you brown the rack stove top and then roast it until done, brown the grilled rack over the hot fire, adjust the dome temp to your roasting temp, and move the rack over to the indirect side. you might check the internal temp a bit earlier than inside. if you generally roast in a hotter oven w/o browning, crank the dome temp up to your hi-roast temp and put the rack on the indirect side. if you're smearing the meat with say rosemary, garlic, lemon and olive oil, i wouldn't put that on until after any exposure to direct heat--but then i don't put goo on until after browning stove top either. herbal goo is ok if cooked over indirect heat. i would not add wood for smoke. (i also prefer lump charcoal and a fire lit w/o starter.)

                        1. re: tochipotle

                          If you buy a boneless leg of lamb, it comes (somewhat unevenly) butterflied already.

                        2. This isn't a BBQ dish, but a braise w lamb and I just had to share. You can plan ahead and putz around the house while it simmers for 2-3 hrs on the stove, getting all beautifully tender.
                          this is from the Dean & Deluca cookbook. It rocks over rice or couscous. I didn't have peppers and it turned out great anyway.

                          Turkish-Style Lamb Shanks Braised with Vegetables
                          Lamb is the most commonly eaten meat in Turkey, and Turkish lamb dishes are among the best in the world

                          6 tablespoons olive oil
                          2 large onions, chopped
                          4 trimmed lamb shanks (about 41/2 pounds total)
                          8 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
                          1 to 4 hot chilies (like serranos or jalapeƱos), seeded, if desired, and chopped
                          12 garlic cloves, minced
                          12 sprigs of fresh thyme
                          4 imported bay leaves
                          2 teaspoons ground cumin
                          1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
                          1/4 teaspoon allspice
                          2 cups hot water
                          1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley plus additional for garnish
                          4 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
                          salt and pepper to taste

                          1. Heat the oil in a large, deep Dutch oven over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the onions and set aside. Add the lamb shanks, in batches if necessary, and brown all sides, about 15 minutes. Stir in the browned onions, tomatoes, chilies, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, cumin, cloves, and allspice, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
                          2. Stir in the water, cover, and cook at a bare simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. Remove the lamb shanks with tongs, and when cool enough to handle remove and shred the meat. Try to get some of the marrow from the bones, and add the meat and marrow to the Dutch oven with the parsley and roasted peppers. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes longer, adding a bit more water, if necessary. Serve hot with rice.

                          Lamb is the most commonly eaten meat in Turkey, and Turkish lamb dishes are among the best in the world. This is so, in part, because Turkish sheep graze on wild thyme. Our American sheep don't -- so we've added some thyme to the following to compensate. This is a dish for guests who don't like dealing with bones at the table though you could leave the meat on the bones if desired. Serves 4

                          1. Get a butterflied leg of lamb, marinate it in garlic , lots of olive oil & herbs and grill it to medium rare and slice thin.

                            Freeze the leftovers and chop into cubes to make a moussaka or shepherd pie. Delicious!

                            1. Shish Kebab is easy....cut up a boneless leg into 1 inch cubes and marinate to your liking overnight. Skewer with green peppers and onion and cook over charcoal.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: Infomaniac

                                Aaahh, takes me back to my dad's old Weber grill. The only way we girls would eat lamb was a true middle-eastern shish-kebab!

                                Now, he loves my bbq'ed leg of lamb.

                                1. re: Infomaniac

                                  OK - this is a first for me, a repeat message within the same post (I'm doomed to CH hell) but someone has to try this marinade. Every time I serve lamb as grilled kebab, people rave (I'm talking a lot and from many who wouldn't otherwise comment) - 1/2c packed fresh cilantro, 3 cloves garlic, 1/4 dark raisins, 1/2t garam masala, 1 1/2 lemon juice, zest, 1/2c olive oil, S&P pureed. Add cubed lamb and wait at least a couple of hours.

                                  1. re: alwayscooking

                                    I'm afraid it won't be me, ac......I'm one of those that intensely dislikes cilantro. But I supposed I *could* use parsley as a sub.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      I wasn't a big cilantro fan too, but I've been eating it more with Pho and Bahn Mi sandwiches and the taste is starting to grow on me. I'm going to give ac's marinate a try because totally different from my usual.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        I agree, LindaWhit, I find cilantro waaaaay to overpowering, but I know I'm in the minority ;)

                                        1. re: Phurstluv

                                          Exactly, Phurstluv - I can take it in minute amounts, but a half cup would just be too much for me.

                                      2. re: alwayscooking

                                        i noticed it the first time and thought it sounded great. i'll try it sometime this summer - if you will try the madhur jaffrey recipe i posted!

                                        1. re: alwayscooking

                                          Just looking for clarification on the amounts. I'm assuming the raisins are 1/4 cup, but not sure whether the lemon juice is 1.5 tbsp, 1.5 lemons, or (unlikely), 1.5 cups. Sounds like a great recipe--but I'd like to make sure I'm doing it correctly.


                                          1. re: Marion Morgenthal

                                            Opps - 1/4c raisins, 1.5T lemon juice (or 1 lemon)

                                            Let me know if you like it.

                                            1. re: alwayscooking

                                              Thanks! That was my guess, but I figured it was worth confirming. Probably a few weeks before I make it, but I'll report back.

                                      3. Thanks all! I went to the butcher this morning and I got a boneless butterflied leg of lamb. When I think of lamb, I automatically think of grainy mustard and mint...so I think I will marinate it in mustard, mint, garlic and maybe some rosemary too. I think I'll make a yogurt mint sauce for dipping (and for the inevitable left over sandwiches!).

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. Thanks to all of you for the help! Dinner was great. Fortunately, I did a good job on the grill and the lamb was cooked perfectly. It's the first time I've ever prepared a leg of lamb (boneless or otherwise) so I was a little taken back with the 'presentation'. A tad barbaric almost to have this mangle of meat held together by tendons etc. While it was absolutely delicious, it looked a little horrific. Maybe I should start another thread - but I'd like to prepare this again for guests - is there a way to present it so that it looks a little more refined? I suppose slicing it up before it gets to the table... Maybe I'm just being too prissy - it was delicious, and that's what matters! Thanks again for the advice.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: tochipotle

                                            yeah, with a boneless leg presentation can be hard, esp. if the butcher's butterflying job is less than elegant. slicing before serving can help clean things up, or you can lay it on a bed of something, or just let the taste speak for itself.

                                            1. re: tochipotle

                                              Andytee is correct in advising you to slice thinly before presenting it to guests. It is a ghastly looking hunk of meat, and even after cooking, then it's a shrunken, browned hunk of meat. Definitely slice it thinly, after letting it rest at least 15 minutes, tented, and present on a platter lined with greens, herbs, whatever you have on hand, and drizzle with the juices left on the carving board.

                                              1. re: tochipotle

                                                For attractive presentation, I like to roll and truss the roast before grilling it. If you have two minutes and twenty seconds to spare, here's Alton Brown's demo from Good Eats. Look at the section from 5:20 to 7:40.


                                              2. I did a boneless leg of lamb on the rottiserie recently. Rub the meat down with crushed garlic and a little kosher salt. Weave twigs of rosamary in between thestichings of the sock.

                                                I would do in on indirect heat to prevent flair-ups. For the last 5 minutes turn on the back burner and give it a little browning crust.

                                                It will convect with the lid down and cook faster.