I learned a valuable lesson this week and at the same time started a new family tradition. Eat lamb the week AFTER Easter. Why? It’s crazy cheap! We bought a leg of lamb the Sunday after Easter for $5/lb at our local grocery store. And as you can see from the pictures, it was a very nice cut. This hunk of lamb fed 7 adults, with leftovers, for $30. That’s pretty awesome. And after getting several requests from all of YOU to do some lamb, this was a perfect opportunity.
The only problem was…I had never cooked lamb before. Not once. But I had EATEN lamb before – and the best lamb I have ever eaten was provided by my good friend, Chef Kraft – the same chef that provided me with an amazing Cajun Seasoning recipe. So when I needed some suggestions, I called him, and he came through in spades.
He suggested creating a paste to smear on the lamb. That sounded fun, so I didn’t argue. I did some research and came up with what I thought were good flavors to add, and he gave me the final genius touch – sun-dried tomatoes. I blended those up with olive oil and all seasonings and a phenomenal paste was formed. YUM.
This 5lb leg took about 2 hours to cook. I smoked it in a tray with vegetables – and the lamb juices added awesome flavor to the veggies – for about 1.5 hours. Then I removed it and finished over direct heat, searing the outside and crisping up the crust a bit.
I purposely overcooked it slightly – to about 145 degrees. Lamb traditionally is served rare or medium at most, but my crowd didn’t prefer the red meat. It worked out well, though, as the outside was close to well done for some, and the middle was medium for others.
Everyone fell in love with this meal. It was delicious. I’ll definitely be doing it again soon. I’d suggest to anyone reading this, go to your local grocery store today and pick up some lamb on sale. They’re trying to get rid of it, and you should be happy to take it off their hands. I have to say, Smoked Leg of Lamb has instantaneously climbed into my top 5 favorite things I’ve ever cooked.
Smoked Leg of Lamb
- 1/4 tsp Allspice
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1 tbs dried rosemary
- 1 crushed bay leaf
- 2 tbs sun-dried tomatoes
- 2-3 tbs olive oil as needed to create paste
For Lamb and Veggies
- 5 lb Leg of Lamb
- 2 lb bag of Red Potatoes
- 1 small package Baby Carrots
- 1 package baby bella mushrooms
- Fresh thyme and rosemary if available.
- Blend all ingredients together in food processor or blender until good paste consistency is formed.
For Lamb and Veggies
- Trim excess hard fat off Lamb.
- Slice along leg of lamb to open it up a bit - a partial butterfly - to allow more flavor to creep inside.
- Place leg in aluminum tray and smear paste all over the meat side. I left the fat cap side down in the tray the entire time and did not put paste on it.
- Put veggies all around leg in tray.
- Set up your grill for indirect cooking.
- Place tray on opposite side of heat to allow for smoking. Use fruit wood - I used apple - and smoke for 1.5 - 2 hours until internal temperature hits 140.
- If you prefer, sear at end to finish cooking and firm up the crust.
- Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.