Spatch what? Spatchcocking is a term that originated with a technique used to cook poultry and game over an open flame. By removing the backbone and keel (breast) bone of a bird, it was easy to flatten out and, by crossing skewers though it, made it easy to handle and turn over live fire. The term has since been adapted to include certain cuts of meat, including a boneless leg of lamb. Once the bone is removed from the whole leg roast, you can employ this technique to grill the leg much more quickly over direct heat. The spatchcocking itself (using skewers to hold the meat together) is optional, but makes handling it a whole lot easier.
I grilled this over hardwood charcoal and that flavor can’t be beat. However, if you and/or your grill is buried under a snowdrift, try roasting in the middle of the oven right on the rack over a drip pan! :-)
Soy And Honey Marinated Spatchcock Leg Of Lamb
serves eight to ten
One 2 1/2 to 3 pound boneless rolled leg of lamb
10 cloves garlic, smashed
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, about 3-inches each
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Metal skewers
Direct heat grilling
Remove the boned leg of lamb from the netting and flatten, if it doesn’t flatten completely, cut through the thinnest part of where it is still joined. Score the meat to even out any parts that much thicker than the rest. Rub both sides (read:smear) the lamb with the smashed cloves of garlic and then do the same with the rosemary. Toss the garlic and the rosemary into the bottom of a baking dish that is just large enough to hold the lamb. Pour in the soy sauce and wine and then turn the lamb in the marinade several time to coat. Drizzle the honey over the lamb, cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but it’s better if you can leave it overnight. Turn the lamb a few times while it marinates.
Remove the lamb from the marinade about an hour before grilling and pat dry with paper towels. If you have skewers, crisscross them through the meat so that it holds together as one piece. Set up your grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Brush and oil the grates before cooking. Total cooking time is going to be about 30 to 40 minutes Place the meat on the grill and sear for about 10 minutes, then flip and repeat. After that, close the cover and flip every 10 minutes or so until the internal temperature reaches 124°F for medium rare (be sure to keep the thermometer tip away from the metal skewers). If you like your lamb more done, simply leave on the grill a bit longer.
When the lamb is finished to your liking, transfer it to a cutting board, leaving the skewers in the meat, and loosely tent with foil for 10 minutes. Once the meat has rested, remove the skewers and slice or cut into chunks and serve with roasted potatoes and a side salad.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!