Friday, 24 May 2013

Grilled Leg of Lamb & Greek-Style Potatoes

Our Secretary, Diane Hawrelak, loves cooking lamb for her family, so one of her first stops on opening day of the market was Greenstein's Farms to place an order of a full lamb for her family! That's how much she loves it! Greenstein's Farms comes to our market every other week... look for them this coming Wednesday, the 29th. Like our other meat vendors, they take orders in advance that you can simply pick up at the market. Nothing could be easier!

The secret to Diane's success, cooking with lamb... is this recipe from Canadian Chef, Michael Smith's online recipe collection Top it all off with Diane's favourite Greek-Style Potatoes (Riverbend Gardsen, Holden Colony & Dargatz Family Farm all have wonderful potatoes!!) and you have a meal worthy of any family gathering!

grilled leg of lamb with 
tomato mint tapenade

Lisa, from Greenstein Farm,
speaks with a customer,
at our opening day market
for the lamb
1 boneless leg of lamb
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
6 or 8 cloves garlic, minced
2 lemons, zest and juice
several heaping spoonfuls any mustard 

(I prefer grainy)
a sprinkle or two sea salt and 

freshly ground pepper 
For the tapenade
a handful sun-dried tomatoes
a handful pitted kalamata olives
a few anchovies (optional)
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
a generous splash extra virgin olive oil
a handful mint leaves 

2 tablespoons capers, drained 


To prepare the lamb, open the leg up into 1 large piece by cutting through the centre hole where the bone was removed. It’s okay if you end up with 2 pieces. Because the meat is now thinner it will be easier to grill. Place leg in a large bowl or dish.

In a smaller dish, vigorously whisk the olive oil, oregano, garlic, lemon zest and juice, mustard and salt and pepper together until a smooth marinade forms.

Add the marinade to the lamb, and rub it all over the meat. Cover the bowl or dish with plastic wrap and marinate the meat in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. For maximum flavour marinate it for 12 hours, turning it a few times.

For the tapenade, toss all the ingredients—except the capers—into a food processor and purée well. Stir in the capers last so they keep their shape.

To grill the lamb, build a wood fire and let it die down to a hot bed of coals, or preheat your grill to its highest setting. For medium rare, grill the lamb for 15 minutes or so on the first side and then another 10 minutes or so on the other side. To check the doneness, feel free to cut a small slit into the thickest part and have a peek.

Before you slice the meat, let it rest on a rack for at least 10 minutes. Heat stresses out the meat. Resting it for a few minutes allows the fibres to relax so when you slice away, you don’t lose any of the juices. For best results use a cooling rack. A plate works too, but you’ll lose a bit of juice where it touches the meat. Serve with the tapenade & Greek-style potatoes (see recipe below) and enjoy all the sunny flavours! 

ingredients makes 4 servings

6 potatoes, peeled and quartered

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl, mix olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, bouillon cubes and pepper.
  3. Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of a medium baking dish. Pour the olive oil mixture over the potatoes. Cover, and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the preheated oven, turning occasionally, until tender but firm.
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