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Mario Batali's Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Garlic, Rosemary and Mint

Try This Lamb for Your Easter Dinner
skill level
The vin santo in the marinade helps the meat develop a tasty char on the outside, like a steak. Cook it medium-rare, or even medium; unlike a butterflied beef tenderloin, for example, a butterflied leg of lamb always has some thicker and some thinner parts, which is actually a good thing—it means that when the meat is cooked, there will be something for everyone, some medium-rare, some medium, some a bit more done.
  • ½ cup olive oil½ cup vin santo¼ cup chopped fresh mint18 garlic cloves
  • peeled and bashed a bit with the side of a heavy knife2 tablespoons kosher salt1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepperOne 4½- to 5-pound boneless leg of lamb
  • butterflied and trimmed of excess fat (or one 7- to 8 pound bone-in leg
  • boned
  • butterflied
  • and trimmed)2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
step-by-step directions We've Made Cooking As Easy As 1-2-3! printer friendly version 
  • 1
    18 cloves garlic
    Peel and bash all the garlic with the side of a heavy knife.
  • 2
    ½ cup olive oil
    ½ cup vin santo
    ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
    6 garlic cloves (already bashed)
    2 tablespoons kosher salt
    1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 
    Combine the olive oil, vin santo, mint, 6 of the garlic cloves, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside. 
  • 3
    One 4½- to 5-pound boneless leg of lamb (or one 7- to 8 pound bone-in leg, boned, butterflied, and trimmed)
    2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
    12 cloves or garlic (already bashed)
    Trim the lamb of excess fat and butterfly it.  Make 12 small incisions in the fatty side of the lamb and insert one of the remaining bashed garlic cloves and some of the rosemary into each slit. Put the lamb in a large baking dish and pour the marinade over, turning to coat. Let stand at cool room temperature for 1 hour, or cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or overnight; turn the lamb occasionally as it marinates. 
  • 4
    If the lamb has been in the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature. Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Remove the lamb from the marinade, draining it well, and pat dry. Pour the marinade into a small bowl. Place the lamb on the grill and cook, basting several times with the reserved marinade, for 10 to 12 minutes, until well charred on the first side. Turn and cook, basting several more times, for 10 to 12 minutes longer, or until well charred on the second side; the internal temperature should register 130°F for medium-rare. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and let it rest for 15 minutes. Carve the lamb into ¼-inch-thick slices and serve immediately.

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