Jump to Main Content

Cumin-Mint Leg of Lamb

 
 
 
  Paste (first 8 ingredients)  
2 tsp    whole cumin seed  
1 tsp    whole black peppercorns  
3   garlic cloves  
1 tsp    kosher salt  
1 tsp    dried oregano  
1/2 tsp    crushed red pepper flakes  
2 Tbs    extra virgin olive oil  
1 Tbs    fresh lemon juice  
1   boneless leg of lamb, 2-1/2 to 3 pounds  
1/3 cup    tightly packed fresh mint leaves  
  Sauce  
1 cup    sour cream  
1/4 cup    Dijon mustard  
1 Tbs    finely chopped fresh mint  
1/2 tsp    kosher salt  
 
1 Using a mortar and pestle, pound the cumin seed and peppercorns into tiny pieces. Add the garlic, salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Pound the seasonings into tiny pieces. Add the olive oil and lemon juice. Mix to create a paste.
2 Carefully remove any excess fat and sinew from both sides of the lamb. Place the lamb, cut side up, on a clean work surface. The meat needs to be a fairly uniform, 1 to
3 -1/2 inches thick. If any sections are thicker, cut them off and cook them separately or make shallow cuts on the bias into the thicker section and spread or “butterfly” the meat into a thinner section. Spread half of the paste evenly over the inside of the lamb and the other half on the outside of the lamb. Lay the mint leaves down the middle of the inside. Tightly roll the lamb into a long cylinder. Using kitchen twine, tie the lamb at 1-1/2-inch intervals. Trim off the loose ends of the twine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
4 In a small bowl whisk the sauce ingredients until smooth. Let the sauce and the lamb sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.
5 Brush the cooking grate clean. Grill the lamb, fat side down first, over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until golden brown all over, 10 to15 minutes, turning once or twice and rotating as needed for even cooking. Move the lamb over indirect medium heat and cook to your desired doneness, 20 to 30 minutes for medium rare, rotating as needed for even cooking. Remove the lamb from the grill and let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Remove the twine. Cut the lamb crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Serve warm or at room temperature with the sauce.
 
Yield: Makes 6 servings