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October 7, 2019

Mediterranean Grilled American Lamb Leg with Mint Pesto


Recipe Provided By
"The Mediterranean Dish"
Prep Time

-- min

Cook Time

-- min

Total Time

-- min



lamb loin chops with cucumber mint salad and sweet and smoky tahini



  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sumac spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Mint Pesto

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1 cup packed mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup Private Reserve extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, more if needed


For the Marinade: In a food processor, add garlic, onion, lemon juice, parsley, mint, oil, allspice, coriander, sumac and cardamom;  process until you have a smooth green marinade. 

Place lamb on a large cutting board; cover with heavy plastic wrap. Using the smooth side of a meat tenderizer or mallet, pound lamb making sure to even out any pieces that are too thick. The goal is not to achieve paper-thin lamb. 

Pat lamb leg dry; sprinkle generously with salt on both sides. Place lamb in a large freezer bag; spread the marinade all over. Zip the bag closed; work the marinade into the lamb ensuring every part of the lamb is well coated. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. 

Remove lamb from refrigerator; let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. (To make the lamb easier to turn on the grill insert a couple of metal skewers through the lamb, crosswise.) 

Heat a gas grill on high on all burners (this is just for the start). Place lamb, fat-side down, on the hot grill. Sear about 2 minutes; turn over and sear on the other side for 2 minutes. Lower the heat to low (temperature between 300°F and 350°F). Cover; grill for 15 minutes, flipping once midway through, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb reads 130°F (for medium-rare). (See NOTE below.) 

Remove lamb from grill onto a cutting board. Cover with foil; let rest about 5 minutes. If using skewers, remove them; cut across the grain and place on a serving platter. 

For the Mint Pesto: In a food processor or blender, add lemon juice, garlic, shallot, mint oil, pine nuts, honey and salt; blend until smooth. Top grilled lamb with some pesto; transfer the rest of the pesto to a small serving bowl. 



  • Grilling time will vary depending on how thick, and exactly how many pounds the lamb is. 
  • This lamb can also be served with a side of Greek tzatziki sauce.

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.


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