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Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb

You can also use this marinade on rib or loin chops.

  • Servings: 4
Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Photography: Anita Calero

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 1996


  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste; available at health food stores)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
  • 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 1/4 pounds shank half of a butterflied leg of lamb
  • 3 lemons, thinly sliced
  • Fresh mint, for garnish


  1. For the marinade, combine first nine ingredients and 4 tablespoons water in a blender; process until smooth.

  2. Place lamb in a nonreactive dish; add marinade. Turn to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate up to overnight. If refrigerated, let lamb return to room temperature before grilling.

  3. Brush a grill with oil; heat to medium hot. Remove excess marinade from lamb. Grill until well browned, 12 to 16 minutes; turn and cook 12 to 16 minutes more, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 140 degrees in thickest part (for medium rare). Grill lemon slices for garnish. Transfer lamb to a cutting board; let stand 15 minutes. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Serve with grilled lemon and fresh mint.

Reviews (2)

  • tvillebj 8 Jul, 2008

    I have 1/2 a leg of lamb (uncooked, bone-in) in the freezer. How do I butterfly it for this recipe?

  • JackBear 8 Jul, 2008

    IIf you have fresh sesame seeds at home you can add something extra to the dish. Lightly toast a cup or two of sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat, being careful not to scorch. Allow to cool and then turn them into tahini in your food processor or by using a stick blender (with the container, or you'll find sesame seeds everywhere). Process until smooth. You can add a little EVOO if the paste is too dry. Nothing quite as nice as freshly-toasted home-made Tahini!

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