David Olson, A Bachelor and His Grill Seared and Smoked Australian Leg of Lamb with Mint Chimichurri and Charred Heirloom Tomatoes

  • Prep time 20Min
  • Cook time 45Min
  • Technique Grill, Grill, Sear
  • Meat Lamb
  • Cut Leg
  • Serves 10

Adding a chimichurri and bright veggies is a great way to differentiate Aussie leg of lamb from the rest of your grilling menu.

Ingredients

Roasted Garlic and Mint Chimichurri:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus ½ cup, separated
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 ½ cups fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 serrano chili, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn, to taste

Aussie leg of lamb:

  • 1 boneless leg of Australian lamb
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion powder
  • Roasted garlic and mint chimichurri, as above 
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn, to taste

Method

For the roasted garlic and mint chimichurri: Preheat oven to 375F. Toss garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons oil and season to taste with a dash of salt and pepper. Lay garlic over a lined baking sheet and roast in oven for 30-45 minutes, or until golden in color. Meanwhile, in a dry sauté pan over medium heat toast pine nuts until just fragrant. Allow both garlic and pine nuts to cool. In a food processor combine roasted garlic, toasted pine nuts, and all remaining ingredients. Pulse together until desired consistency achieved. Season additionally to taste. Serve immediately.

For the Aussie leg of lamb: Two hours prior to grilling remove lamb from the refrigerator. Butterfly leg of lamb to create a fairly equal thickness of meat across the leg. Trim loose and narrow ends. Carve the fat cap to no more than ¼". Score fat in a crosshatch fashion. Season both sides of lamb with olive oil, garlic and onion powder, and ground peppercorn. Wrap tightly in plastic and rest on counter to bring near room temperature.

Preheat grill to medium-high using the 2-zone cooking method. Add a smoky essence by tossing a handful of cherry or applewood chips directly over the charcoal or rear grill grates. Once wood is gently emitting a faint-colored smoke the grill is ready.

Salt liberally both sides of the lamb just prior to grilling. Simply rest the well-seasoned lamb fat-side down over the direct zone grates and sear for 6-8 minutes with the grill lid open. Turn the lamb over and grill the flesh side for another 4-6 minutes. Slide lamb to the indirect grilling zone and flip fat-side down again. Spoon a layer of chimichurri atop the entirety of the seared lamb. Close grill lid and slowly roast, rotating the lamb and basting intermittently with oil, until internal temperature in thickest portion of the leg reaches 130F. Remove lamb from the grill and spoon remaining chimichurri over the rustic hunk of meat, loosely tent with tin foil and rest for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss tomatoes in olive oil, season lightly and char directly upon the grill grates until charred on all sides.

Carve lamb against the grain. Garnish with lemon zest and charred tomatoes, then serve.