Olive-and-Spice-Rubbed Leg of Lamb

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 5 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr 40 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup pitted mixed green and black olives

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Juice of 1 lemon

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 5- to 7-pound boneless leg of lamb, butterflied and trimmed of surface fat (have the butcher do this for you)


  1. Puree the garlic, paprika, coriander, cumin, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper into a paste in a mini food processor. Add the olives, parsley, cilantro and lemon juice; pulse to chop. Add the butter and pulse to incorporate all the ingredients.
  2. Cut the lamb along a natural seam into 2 equal pieces. Rub the olive-spice mixture evenly all over the lamb; cover and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours.
  3. Bring the lamb to room temperature about 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the broiler and line a broiler pan with foil. Place the lamb smooth-side down on the pan. Broil just until charred, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven; carefully turn the lamb, using tongs. Return to the oven; broil until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 125 to 130 degrees, about 10 more minutes.
  4. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice across the grain and arrange on a platter.
  5. Photography by Con Poulos