Leg of Lamb with Honey and a Rosemary Crust

posted: 06/30/10
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Leg of Lamb with Honey and a Rosemary Crust


  • 20 large branches fresh long-stemmed rosemary
  • Six 24-inch/60-cm long strands of kitchen twine
  • One 6-pound/2.5-kg whole leg of lamb, large bone removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, bruised
  • 1/4 cup/90 ml honey


  1. Soak the rosemary branches and kitchen twine in cold water for 1 hour. This will help prevent the rosemary and twine from burning while they are on the grill. Prepare the barbecue for high heat. Sprinkle the leg of lamb generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Grill the leg of lamb for 5 minutes, or until brown on all sides. Transfer the lamb to a baking sheet. Rub the garlic over the outside of the lamb then place the garlic pieces inside the lamb. Lay the strands of kitchen twine horizontally across a work surface, spacing them evenly apart. Lay the rosemary branches perpendicularly atop the twine.
  3. Spread half of the honey over 1 side of the lamb and lay the lamb honey side down atop the rosemary. Spread the remaining honey over the top and sides of the lamb. The honey will help adhere the rosemary to the lamb. Tie the twine as tightly as possible around the lamb and rosemary, completely encasing the lamb with the rosemary.
  4. Decrease the heat of the barbecue to medium so that the temperature inside the barbecue is about 350?F/170?C (use an oven thermometer to help gauge the temperature inside the barbecue). Place the lamb on the grill. Cover the barbecue and grill the lamb about 1 hour and 30 minutes, turning the lamb on a regular basis, or until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 140?F/60?C when inserted into the thickest part of the lamb meat.
  5. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes. Remove the twine and rosemary from the lamb. Carve the lamb into slices and serve with any juices that accumulate on the carving board.
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