Easter Smoked Leg of Lamb
~Chef Perry Perkins~
In Greece Easter is the biggest holiday, and apparently most everyone roasts a whole lamb on a “Souvla” which is a large spit. This is a popular recipe around the north of Madrid, as well, especially during the holiday seasons. Sweet, succulent leg of lamb is one of the world’s great culinary treats.
2 - 9 lb legs of lamb (bone in)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 cups of dry white wine
2 Tbs of wine vinegar
Springs of fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic sliced
4 cups of water
Juice of 1 lemon
Set the legs on a roasting rack, in a roasting pan, and rub with half of the olive oil. Season the legs with salt and pepper and rub the thyme over the surface. Let the lamb sit for an hour, at room temperature, to absorb the flavors.
Put the white wine, water, vinegar and lemon juice into a pan and bring to the boil. Allow to cool.
Make some slits in the leg of lamb and put some slices of garlic, and springs of rosemary into them, baste with ½ of the liquid, and then rub the lamb with the rest of the olive oil.
Fill a smoker box, or tube, with hickory pellets, and light. (Be sure to remove the two end rails from your roasting box, to allow for proper ventilation.
Light your charcoal, and allow the box to heat up. Then set the lamb legs, rack, and pan in the bottom, add your smoker, and close the Roasting Box.
Roast the legs of lamb for approximately 3 hours, add fresh charcoal every hour as per the instructions on the side of your roaster. After 3 hours, check the meat, cover any hotspots with foil, and add fresh charcoal in order to increase the temperature of the box.
Roast the legs of lamb for another 20 minutes until brown, then check the internal temperature of the meat.
Med Rare: 145
After the meat is cooked, toss it on the top grill, over the coals, to crisp the outsides, let rest 20 minutes, tented in foil, then slice and serve it with the side dishes of your choice.
If you have the rotisserie accessory for your La Caja China, I actually like the flavor and texture of this version, even more.
Run the spit through the thickest part of the meat, parallel and as close as possible, to the bone.
Then, tie the end of the bone to the spit with a few inches of wire. Secure the “meaty” end with a rotisserie fork.
Grill over low heat for around 90 minutes, over a split fire and drip pan, then begin checking the internal temp, in the thickest part of the leg. Occasionally scatter a few hickory chips or pellets on the coal, to add a bit of flavor.
If you take the lamb off at 140℉ and let it rest for 20 minutes tented with foil the interior of the lamb should reach 145℉, which is medium rare.
Kalo Pashcha! (Happy Easter!)
As a third-generation chef, Perry P. Perkins focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.
Perry runs the non-profit organization, MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes for at risk youth.
His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party, and the NEW “La Caja China Grill.”
You can follow the rest of Chef Perry’s cooking adventures at ChefPerryPerkins.com