Cooking with Fr. K, Leg of Lamb on the Barbe

By Father Kilian McCaffrey

And where I come from, roast lamb is a special dish, especially at seasonal times like Holy Week and Easter. Typically, a roast leg of lamb is ideal for a family or a small group. It is available at Sam’s Club and Costco and a nice leg of lamb, typically from New Zealand or Australia, will typically weigh between three and five pounds.

The barbecue is a great place to ‘finish’ a leg of lamb. And as many of you love your grills, I thought this might be a good opportunity to share a nice recipe.

When I say ‘finish’, I will explain the comment this way. Some friends of mine, Sir Brian and ‘Lady’ Jean Davis, whom I knew in Michigan, and who now live in Florida, are great cooks. Leg of lamb is, of course, one of their specialties, as she is originally from Luton in Bedfordshire, just north of London in England. Brian’s heritages are from a county down in Northern Island, and Jean’s is from Wales.

When I first moved to Arizona, the winters are so beautiful here that I decided to experiment with leg of lamb on my little Weber barbecue.

Rather than “crash and burn” initially, I decided to ask Jean for her favorite way to prepare a leg of lamb. So, I waited for the first real good snowstorm in the Detroit area, usually in late November or early December, and I called Jean up to ask her how best to prepare a succulent leg of lamb outside on the barbecue.

The fact that I was sunning myself and barbecuing in Arizona, and she was knee-deep in snow made it all the more charming. And she gave me her recipe.

All you need is a leg of lamb, some olive oil and your favorite rubs and spices. Typically, I like to use Montreal Steak Seasoning as my main rub, as it contains pretty much every spice that you may need to bring the very best taste out of the lamb. You can buy this at Costco or your favorite store, and it’s best to buy it by the pound.

Prepare the lamb, which is typically de-boned, by placing it in a roasting pan and generously sprinkling the Montreal steak seasoning inside and outside the butterflied meat. Pour a little olive oil over the meat and place in an oven at about 350°F for 35-40 minutes.

Then you can transfer the leg of lamb on to your barbecue, typically on a low-medium temperature setting of about 350°F.

A Word of Warning: the fat on the leg of lamb is highly flammable, so make sure that the lid of your grill is closed after you place the lamb meat on your grill.

Cook the lamb on the grill for a further 30 minutes approximately, turning every five minutes.

A Word of Warning: when you open the grill, it may flame up, so do stand back when you open the grill and let the flames die down before you attempt to turn the lamb meat.

Typically, leg of lamb is served with roast potatoes, roast vegetables, and, if you prefer, mint jelly.

Delicious is the best word to describe roast leg of lamb prepared in this way!


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