Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb with a Mint, Sorrel & Olive Relish

I used to be really intimidated making lamb on the grill but the more that I grill which is basically all summer long, the more comfortable I get with it and the instincts come in naturally; when to turn the piece of meat, how fast to run when you hear the the hissing sound of a flare up and the “knowing” of when dinner is done. Grilling is so much more forgiving than I originally thought. And lamb is no different than a good steak on the grill, it needs a good watch. And a nice salad to complete it along with a nice sauce on the side. In this case, a simple arugula and feta salad compliments the lamb along with a minty, lemony, slightly salty and sweet relish on the side, which goes with both. Double the relish recipe, if you need a sauce with your lamb, there was a time I would not be able to have one bite of lamb without mint jelly. Now that I look back, it more of mint jelly with lamb, not lamb with mint jelly, lol. Enjoy your weekend, it looks like it’s going to be a beauty!

  • (1) one and a half pound butterflied leg of lamb
  • 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves, roughly minced
  • 1 cup loosely packed sorrel leaves, (with the inner stem removed) roughly minced
  • 10 Castelvetrano* olives, pitted and minced *any bright green olive will do
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar with apple or pear pulp
  • garlic powder
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Start off by scoring the fat of the lamb about an inch apart in a checkerboard pattern and seasoning your lamb with sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder and the juice of half a lemon. Rub in all of the ingredients. Let it sit in a shallow glass plate, covered for 1 hour at room temperature. If you feel the least bit uncomfortable with this, marinate it in the refrigerator for the hour. Cooking is all about having fun in the kitchen and not worrying about a thing. In the meantime, combine the mint, sorrel, olives, olive oil, juice of half the lemon, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder and black pepper. Season to taste. Heat up your grill to about 400 degrees, keeping it at a steady temperature. Place your lamb fat side down onto the grill and flip every 5 minutes for a total grill time of 20 minutes for a medium piece of lamb. If you want more of a rarer piece, flip every 3-4 minutes. According to the Joy of Cooking lamb is done at a temperature ranging from 130-135 degrees fahrenheit for rare and 140-150 degrees fahrenheit for medium. If unsure, remove the lamb from the grill and take the temperature once you suspect your lamb is done. Once your lamb is done, remove and cover and let sit for about 5 minutes, to let the juices collect. Serves 4.

DSC03917

Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichurri

At my first Easter dinner having grilled lamb chops, (about more than a century ago at this point) I covered them with as much mint jelly as possible. I didn’t appreciate them as much as I do today. When I was asked with a little bit of a smile, “Mary…are you enjoying your lamb chops?” I replied, “Yes…I just really, REALLY like mint jelly.” (Which was true, I could eat mint jelly by the spoonful. I just love it.) But as the years past, I noticed I put less and less mint jelly on my lamb chops and have grown to enjoy them, especially around springtime. So, whether celebrating Easter, Seder dinner or just a nice dinner welcoming spring…Enjoy!

  • 8 lamb chops

For the mint chimichurri:

  • 2 cups loosely packed mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry white balsamic vinegar
  • generous pinch pink Himalayan sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • red pepper flakes* optional

Finely chop, mince and mash your garlic. Adding salt always helps with this process. Use a mortal and pestle if you have one, if not, keep mashing and chopping until you get a paste with occasional pieces of garlic, if you are a garlic lover. Combine the mint, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and peppers. Add more salt if needed and let sit at room temperature for about 2 hours, so the flavors blend together. Grill your lamb chops and serve with the chimichurri on the side. Serves 4. Enjoy!