Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb

This image courtesy of Tom Eckerle

Serves5 to 6

Cooking Methodgrilling


Total Timeunder 4 hours

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course



Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, meaty, savory


  • 1 leg of lamb (5 to 6 pounds), butterflied
  • 1 ¼ cups olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon lemon thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly milled pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1/2 navel orange, finely diced
  • 12 large basil leaves, cut into fine ribbons
  • Grill with charcoal
  • Small bundle of dry grapevine clippings that have been soaked in water for 2 hours.


  1. Place the leg of lamb in a shallow baking pan. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, rosemary, lemon, thyme, and red pepper flakes.

  2. Pour the oil mixture over the lamb, turning the meat from side to side until well coated. Cover and marinate for 2 hours, 1 hour in the refrigerator and 1 hour at room temperature.

  3. Prepare the charcoal grill. Preheat the oven to 250°. When the coals reach a dusty red glow, add a small bundle of grapevine clippings.

  4. Brush the grill with olive oil. Season the meat with salt. Place the meat on the grill and cook for 15 minutes on each side. Transfer the meat to a baking pan and place in the oven for 10 minutes, or until internal temperature is 125° for rare meat.

  5. Allow the lamb to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

  6. Serve rare.

  7. To assemble: Very thinly slice the meat allowing about 3 slices per person. Sprinkle with a little of the minced garlic, orange zest, and basil.


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karlwhiting, thanks so much for reaching out and for your close reading of this recipe! I double checked after seeing your concerns, and you're indeed correct: The cookbook specified 15 minutes per side on the grill, rather than 5. That means a 40 minute cook time in total, which is in line with this cooking times chart: All the best, Kara Rota Editor

15 minutes doesn't seem quite long enough to cook 6 pounds of lamb...?


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