Grilled Leg of Lamb with Cranberry Salsa Verde

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 1 1/2 hours

Serves: 8

Chef Michael Schwartz, chef/owner of Michael’s Genuine, Harry’s Pizza and The Genuine Kitchen, has included Niman Ranch meat on the menus of his restaurants in Miami and the Cayman Islands. He recently published Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-To-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat.

Ingredients

1 (6-pound) leg of lamb, bone in, trimmed of excess fat

1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

3 lemons, halved Salsa Verde (recipe follows)

Salsa Verde: (Makes 3/4 cup)

1/4 cup of sugar

1 cup of cranberries

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, firmly packed, chopped

3 tablespoons capers, drained, rinsed, and chopped

2 anchovies in oil, drained and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 shallot, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Put the lamb in a large roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine. Using your hands, rub the paste all over the lamb. Cover with plastic wrap and marinade in the refrigerator for at least 6 or even better overnight, turning occasionally. Preheat an outdoor gas grill and get it very hot. Rub the grill grates with oil to prevent sticking. Put the leg of lamb on the grill, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and close the cover. Grill the lamb for 75 minutes, turning periodically, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the lamb registers about 135F (be careful that the thermometer does not touch the bone). Remove the lamb to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving. The internal temperature will continue to rise 5 to 10 degrees. Right before serving, put the lemon halves, cut-side down, on the grill and char for 1 minute – you won’t believe how much juice you get.
  2. In a large sauce pan over high heat, bring 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar to a boil. Add the cranberries and cook for about 1 minute. Remove the cranberries with a slotted spoon and place on a large plate (or small baking sheet with rim) to cool. They shouldn’t be mushy, but should be just popped. In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, parsley, capers, anchovies, garlic, shallot, zest, pepper, red pepper flakes, and oil. Mix with a spoon to combine.
  3. To serve, drizzle the lamb with salsa verde and give a good squeeze of lemon juice.

Rainy-day method: Prepare the lamb as above, but roast in a roasting pan in a preheated 325F oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours for medium-rare.