Butterflied and Grilled Leg of Lamb and Spring Baby Vidalias

If you havent already caught on, I’m a serious planner for just about everything aspect of my life. I manage my personal, professional and philanthropic lives all in excel and can reference a date on the calendar without thinking twice. It drives many of my friends crazy.

Friday morning I plotted out my every move in preparation for the evening’s celebration. After my morning walk with Winston I planned to go to Harris Teeter and buy the lamb shanks that I would braise while I did the rest of my chores for the day. But when I arrived at Harris Teeter there were no lamb shanks to be found. I quickly called my Dad for advice and he reminded me that I was crazy to be looking for lamb shanks on Passover. He advised that I purchase the butterflied leg of lamb, marinate it and grill it. I have to admit, I was a little relieved because this required much less preparation and it was way too hot outside to have the oven on for four hours. With that crisis resolved, I remembered that my planned side dish would not work – so I hung up with my Dad and called my Mom! While complaining that potatoes were boring she came up with the idea to serve my family’s recipe for Greek potato salad. What problem solvers my parents can be!  I guess I can be more nimble than I thought – with a little help from the family.

When I got back home, I made sure the lamb was as flat and evenly proportioned as possible (this is the most important part and I could have done a better job). Then I marinated the lamb in lemon juice, fresh rosemary, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper for about 6 hours. About an hour before I grilled the lamb I brought it out of the fridge to allow it to come to room temperature. I grilled it without the top open to sear both sides (about 10 minutes on each side – keep in mind my grill isn’t very hot) and then closed the grill and cooked it for another 15 to 20 minutes. My advice is to be patient, check it frequently and remove the lamb when it is 130 degrees at the thickest point. Make sure to let the meat rest before you slice it.

I served grilled baby spring vidalia onions as a side with the meat. I cut them vertically, drizzled them with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled them next to the meat. If my grill were larger, I could have preserved the stems a bit better for presentation – but either way – when they are grilled they taste almost like candy. I highly recommend this!

My spur of the moment menu turned out to be a great success for my first al fresco dinner party of the year. Everyone liked it so much they took home lunch the next day.

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