A whole grilled or roasted leg of lamb is a great cut of meat for any occasion, even small ones, as leftovers are great sliced for sandwiches and other things. Here, Chef Ben Spangler demonstrates a great dinner with leg of lamb stuck with garlic and rosemary, and grilled over coals, with a salad of celery and mushrooms, and a side of charcoal-roasted butternut squash.
One thing to know about the recipe, and Shepherd Song grass-fed lamb and goat in general, is that garlic is optional, and often unnecessary with our product. A lot of times with lamb, garlic is used with a heavy hand, and can cover up the flavor of the meat. With grass-fed lamb, the taste is much more mild and nuanced than, say, lamb from New Zealand, which is often a by-product of the wool industry, and has a stronger flavor from an unnatural diet. If you must, reach for the garlic, but know that you don’t have to.
This recipe is by chef Ben Spangler. Hailing from Minnesota, Ben draws from his Midwestern roots to create dishes that are unpretentious and delicious. Ben has competed on national television for the Food Network and appeared on local Minneapolis food networks. He is currently executive chef at Mercy in Minneapolis.
1 Shepherd Song Farm leg of lamb
4 sprigs of rosemary
1 clove of garlic (optional)
1 cup water
1 oz salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 Tablespoons parsley
4 Tablespoons spearmint
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 Butternut squash
2 celery stalks
4 dandelion leaves (optional)
1 cup button mushrooms
2 oz Grana Padano cheese (substitute Parmesan, Asiago, or Romano)
Salt & pepper
Prepare Leg and Herb Mixture
Mix salt, sugar, pepper, red pepper, orange juice, orange zest, minced parsley and shallots, leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary, white vinegar and water.
Roast the Leg
Take the thawed leg of lamb out of the refrigerator an hour or so before cooking so it is at room temperature before roasting. A grill is illustrated but an oven preheated to 325° F may be substituted.
- Cut hatch marks on top of leg.
- Stuff hatch cuts with the remaining rosemary and optionally a small amount of chopped garlic.
- Cook leg herb side down and allow to sear on the grill with medium heat.
- Lower heat and start to cook slow turning as needed.
- Spoon the herb mixture over leg and allow to cook into meat.
- Cook to 130 °F for medium rare.
Squash Roasted Over Coals
- 1 hr after starting the leg clean and cut squash in half, remove seeds, and oil.
- Place the squash skin side down in coals to roast.
- When the squash is cooked (easily pierced with a knife) put aside.
- Thinly slicing celery and raw mushrooms.
- Chop dandelions (optional) and celery leaves.
- Mix in a bowl with parsley and mint.
- Season with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
- Garnish salad with cheese and balsamic vinegar.
Plate and Serve