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Stuffed Boneless Leg of Lamb

In this recipe, a boned leg of lamb is treated to a flavorful stuffing. The lamb is laid flat, spread with a layer of heady Dijon mustard, topped with a mixture of red bell pepper, garlic and shallot, and then rolled up, tied and grilled. When the leg is carved for serving, each slice reveals a colorful stripe of stuffing, making for a particularly beautiful presentation.

Ingredients:

  • 1 boned leg of lamb, about 5 lb.
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard

Directions:

Remove the leg of lamb from the refrigerator 1 hour before grilling.

In a fry pan over medium heat, warm the 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the bell pepper and sauté until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté until the garlic is fragrant and the shallots are slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and thyme, stir well and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and let cool.

Remove the netting, if any, from the leg of lamb and unroll the lamb. Using a sharp knife, carefully trim away any visible fat from both sides of the lamb, then lay it flat, boned surface up. Cover with a large sheet of plastic wrap and pound to an even thickness with a meat pounder. Spread the mustard evenly over the inside surface of the lamb and season generously with salt and pepper. Distribute the cooled stuffing evenly over the mustard. Starting from a long end, roll up the lamb and form into a compact roll. Using kitchen twine, secure the roll at 2-inch intervals along its length. Then tie a piece of string lengthwise once or twice around the roll to help it keep its shape. Lightly brush the rolled leg with olive oil and season on all sides with salt and pepper.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect grilling over medium heat. Oil the grill rack.

For a charcoal grill: Place a drip pan half full of water in the center of the fire bed. Grill the lamb over the hottest part of the fire for 5 minutes, turning once, to sear lightly. Turn the lamb over and place over the drip pan. Cover the grill and continue cooking until the lamb is done to your liking, adding more hot coals as needed to maintain the temperature, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours for medium.

For a gas grill: Place a shallow pan half full of water at the edge of the grill rack. Grill the lamb directly over the heat elements for 5 minutes, turning once, to sear lightly. Turn the lamb over and place it away from the heat elements. Cover the grill and continue cooking until the lamb is done to your liking, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours for medium.

To test for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the lamb; it should register 135°F. The temperature will rise another 5° to 10°F while the meat is resting.

Transfer the lamb to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the strings and cut the lamb roll crosswise into thin slices. Arrange on a warmed platter and serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Grilling, by Denis Kelly, Melanie Barnard, Barbara Grunes & Michael McLaughlin (Oxmoor House, 2003).