Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Mint and Orzo

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A classic lamb preparation, and for good reason

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Ingredients

  • 1 5-6 lb. leg of lamb, boned so it lies flat
  • 1/2 C. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs. rosemary leaves
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 lb. orzo
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 C. fresh mint leaves, shredded
  • Sprigs of mint to garnish

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Directions

The previous evening, or a couple of hours before cooking the lamb, wipe it dry with paper towels and remove as much of the fat as possible. Combine the olive oil, garlic, mustard and rosemary leaves, and spread the mixture evenly over the lamb. If you are marinating it overnight, wrap it in foil. Otherwise, leave it at room temperature for a couple hours. Preheat the grill or coals until they are very hot. Bring 6 qts. of salted water to a boil for the orzo. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Put it on the grilling rack and cook seven to eight minutes on each side for rare. Cook longer, about 12 minutes for medium. If you cook too much longer, it will be dry. While the lamb is grilling, cook the orzo, drain it and toss with butter and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the lamb rest for 15 minutes, then cut it in thin slices with a sharp knife. Mound the orzo on a serving platter and arrange the slices of lamb on top. Garnish with sprigs of mint and serve.

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