Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb

This recipe takes advantage of those smaller pieces of butterflied leg of lamb I often see at the supermarket, 2 1/2 or 3 pounds. You can also do this with a bigger one (a full leg is about 4 or 4 1/2 pounds once you take out the bones); making about one and a half times the marinade should be sufficient if you do that. And feel free to change up the marinade, as it's very adaptable -- use parsley or rosemary or thyme instead of cilantro and mint, and more or less garlic or herbs according to your taste, maybe Aleppo pepper or cayenne instead of black pepper, or lemon instead of red wine vinegar. Important note: The grilling time can vary wildly depending on the heat of your coals. Keep a close eye on it, as if your coals are very hot, it will cook quickly.

Serves 4-6.


3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

3 teaspoons salt

12 grindings of black pepper

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 butterflied leg of lamb, 2 1/2 to 3 pounds


1. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic mint cilantro and salt; whisk briefly to dissolve the salt. Whisk in the olive oil. 

2. Open up the butterflied leg of lamb (removing strings if it's tied), place it in a large zipper plastic bag, and pour the marinade on, making sure the marinade is in contact with the whole surface of the lamb. (Alternatively, you can make the marinade in a large, shallow bowl, place the lamb on it, rub the marinade all over the lamb, then transfer the lamb and the marinade to a plastic bag.) Let the lamb sit in the marinade, refrigerated, at least two hours and as long as overnight.

3. An hour before you're ready to grill, remove the lamb – keeping it in its plastic bag – from the fridge so it comes to room temperature. 

4. When the coals are hot, wipe the marinade from the lamb and discard it. Grill the lamb, covered, for between 6 and 11 minutes on each side, depending on how hot the coals are and the size of the cut – about 12 to 22 minutes total. Aim for an internal temperature of about 130 degrees for medium-rare, but if you go over, don't worry; it's still really good even if it goes to medium. 

5. Remove the lamb from the grill and let it rest on a platter for at least 10 minutes. Slice the lamb, arranging it on a platter, then pour over it any juices that collected as it rested.