Grilled Butterflied Lamb with African Spices and Herbed Yogurt

Total Time:
1 hr 55 min
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
1 hr 5 min
Cook:
20 min

Yield:
8 servings
Level:
Easy

CATEGORIES
Ingredients
  • Grilled Lamb:
  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds boneless leg of lamb
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground sumac
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 cloves garlic, grated
  • Canola oil, as needed
  • Herbed Yogurt:
  • 1 cup whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill fronds
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
Directions

For the grilled lamb: Trim the excess fat and any gristle from both sides of the lamb and lay it flat on a cutting board. To make the lamb generally the same thickness, butterfly the thick ends by slicing shallowly on the diagonal into the thickest part and opening it up, like a book. Score the entire roast, both sides, in a shallow 1-inch-wide crosshatch pattern.

Heat a small saute pan over medium-low heat and add the coriander and cumin seeds. Toast until fragrant. Combine the toasted seeds with the sesame seeds and grind finely in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. Pour the ground spices into a bowl and add the sumac, salt and cinnamon.

Combine the garlic with a little bit of canola oil to make a paste, and rub into the meat. Rub the spice mix evenly into the meat and leave to penetrate for at least 1 hour at room temperature, or up to 1 day refrigerated.

For the herbed yogurt: Combine the yogurt, chives, cilantro, dill, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and cayenne in a bowl and set aside.

Heat a grill to medium-high heat.

Grill the lamb over medium-high heat, watching carefully for flare-ups, until dark brown on the underside, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until dark brown again, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook the lamb, flipping every minute or so, until the lamb feels bouncy when poked and measures 125 degrees F on an internal-read thermometer for medium-rare, about 5 minutes longer. (If you like your lamb medium, bring it to 130 degrees.)

Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes on a platter, flipping it occasionally, before slicing thinly across the grain and serving with the herbed yogurt.

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