This recipe is my adaptation of a classic leg of lamb preparation. You’ll need a charcoal grill for this recipe and you’ll need to start prep of this the day before you plan to cook and serve the recipe.
If you have a friendly butcher that will be willing to bone out the leg of lamb for you this can be a labor saver but you’ll end up spending more for the meat. I bone the leg out myself to save the cost. You’ll need some knife skills to accomplish that.
I once made this for my then church pastor, his wife, his son and two guests visiting our church. The guests were from southern California and were a man and his wife. The male half of the couple came into the kitchen while I was getting the lamb ready to go on the grill. He pointed to the reserved bowl of marinade and asked “what’s in that?” I told him and emphasized the jalapenos that were in it and he responded by sticking his finger in it and tasting it. I know the heat level was pretty high but he shrugged it off. I was then and there I decided he and I were going to be friends.
The couple ended up moving to New Jersey and becoming staff at our church. “Mike” cited my cooking as the reason he wanted to move to our church.
If you decide to butterfly your leg of lamb on your own there are plenty of YouTube videos that show the procedure. It will require some patience and a good sharp boning knife but the results are worth it in my mind.
- 1 leg of lamb; bone in 8-10 lbs; deboned 6-8 lbs
- 4 jalapeno peppers
- 3 serrano peppers (optional)
- 1 onion; quartered
- 6 cloves garlic; paper removed
- 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ tablespoon pepper
- If not already boneless butterfly the leg of lamb removing all bones. Try to keep the meat all in one piece if you can. Follow the instructions for the marinade below. Place the meat in a large plastic bag (I use 2 gallon size) and pour the marinade over it.
- Store in refrigerator and allow to marinade overnight. Toss the lamb occasionally around in the bag to allow all the meat to marinade evenly.
- Add all ingredients to a blender except the meat.
- Blend on high until a slurry is made. Add more soy sauce if mixture is not wet enough.
- Start a charcoal grill allowing the coals to turn completely white before grilling lamb. This can also be cooked over a gas grill on high but you'll lose a lot of flavor in the final product.
- Preheat an oven to 170F-190F
- Bring the lamb out of the refrigerator and remove from the marinade Allow the meat to rest for thirty minutes before cooking allowing the surface temperature to rise to room temperature. Reserve the marinade.
- Place lamb boned side up over the grill over high heat 2 to 3 inches from the coals for 5 to 6 minutes turning once when one side gets a char. Baste occasionally with the reserved marinade
- Remove the lamb to a baking sheet and place in oven to rest for 40 minutes to sixty minutes. Lamb will continue to cook during this time.
- Slice and serve.