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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grilled Leg of Lamb

My father is a great man.   Father of six children and the hardest working man I have ever known.  Now any of my 2 brothers or 3 sisters will tell you the same thing about him.  In his life he has sacrificed blood, sweat and tears to provide for us and never complained about it.  Obviously he deserves more than a meal to celebrate him on father's day but I figured this one way I could show him my love. One of the things he loves to eat is lamb so to honour him on father's day this year I prepared a beautiful butterflied, grilled leg of lamb.
I would suggest going to your favorite butcher to get a nice lamb leg.  Ask him to de-bone and butterfly it.  I also ask my butcher to reserve the leg bone and cut it into pieces for me.  This will be used to make a stock which will help flavor the salsa that tops this recipe.
Lamb has a stronger taste than beef or pork so when seasoning,  it should be dealt with accordingly. That is to say it can stand up to some pretty bold seasoning.  This recipe requires overnight marinating so if you are in a rush the results will not be the same.

Ingredients for marinade

1 butterflied boneless leg of lamb ( approx 4+ lbs)
10 cloves of garlic chopped
2 anchovy fillets
 4 Tbsp rosemary
Grated rind of 1 lemon
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp sea salt
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp fennel seeds
1/4 cup white wine.

Add lamb leg to a resealable bag and add marinade. Refrigerate overnight.

Ingredients for salsa

Lamb bones cut into pieces
1 carrot chopped
1 celery stalk chopped
1 onion cut in quarters
2 bay leaves
3 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup of Port wine
Salt and pepper
1 pint Cherry tomatoes chopped
6 fresh basil leaves chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 cup olive oil

Add lamb bones, carrot, celery,onion to a baking tray drizzle with olive oil and place in a 400*f oven for 30 minutes.  Remove fro tray an place in a large pot on stove top.
Now add vegetable stock, bay leaves, salt and pepper in a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  
Remove bones and all veggies from pot leaving on the broth, then add port wine and reduce liquid until thick a syrup like consistency (approx 30 minutes) once done allow to cool.
In a bowl add chopped tomatoes, basil, fennel seeds,  1/2 cup olive oil and the port wine/stock reduction.
Refrigerate until lamb is ready.


Place hot coals on 1 side of grill making sure to leave one side for indirect heat.
Place lamb on hot side of grill searing it on both sides for about 4 minutes each.
Once lamb is seared move to other side of grill with no coals.  Cover with foil and allow to cook for approximately 3 hours or until medium rare inside.
The lamb can be turned once or twice but be sure to re cover with foil.  Once lamb is cooked, remove fro grill and rest meat covered for about 15 minutes.

After lamb has rested,  place on a board and carve thin slices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                         The lamb can be eaten on its own topped with the salsa or on a fresh Italian panino as we did here.

Cooked to a perfect medium rare and thinly sliced the lamb pairs well with the salsa which has complimenting flavors.
Happy Father's Day dad, I love you!

It turned out to be a great sunny day filled with fun, excitement and great food.  We topped it with a few drinks and some games followed by a great night by the fire.

( Note the "Sicilian" poker table)

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