Grilled Leg of Lamb with Preserved Lemons


This leg of lamb, redolent of garlic and oregano, can be marinated overnight and then given a quick turn on the grill while your dinner guests mingle.


  • 1 boneless leg of lamb (about 8 pounds), butterflied

  • 20 garlic cloves, 15 minced and 5 halved

  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • Coarse salt

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice

  • ½ cup chopped fresh oregano, plus sprigs for garnish

  • 3 Classic Preserved Lemons (or substitute store bought), cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices


  1. Cut ten 1/2-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slits all over lamb. Insert a garlic clove half into each slit. Season lamb all over with pepper and 3 tablespoons salt.

  2. Combine oil, lemon juice, oregano, and minced garlic in a large, resealable plastic bag. Add lamb, and turn to coat. Seal bag, and place in a large bowl. Refrigerate overnight (or up to 2 days).

  3. Let lamb stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat grill to medium-high. (If you are using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill for just 3 to 4 seconds.)

  4. Grill lamb to desired doneness. (For medium-rare, grill until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 130 degrees, about 15 minutes per side.) Transfer to a cutting board, and let rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, place lemon slices on grill. Cook over medium-high heat until caramelized and soft, about 10 minutes per side. Slice lamb. Garnish with oregano sprigs and lemon slices.

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