Rosemary Had a Little Lamb

Defining Dad - 15 Grilling RecipesHey everybody!  Coming into summer, it’s time to break out the mitts and apron and drag the charcoal out of storage!  That’s right, it’s grilling season!  To celebrate, I’ve teamed up with more than fifteen other bloggers to bring you the ultimate grilling extravaganza, including recipes, grilling tips, and an incredible giveaway of grilling accessories valued at more than $500!  I’m bringing you a quick and easy grilled lamb recipe today.  Once you’ve read through it thoroughly, duplicated it exactly, eaten the delicious result, and had a nice rest check out our other participants in the links below and sign up for the great giveaway!  It’s time to get fired up (har har) and enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of your porch, backyard, or local park.

It’s not a secret to those that know me that I enjoy grilling.  There’s something magical about well-seasoned meats and vegetables fresh off a hot charcoal grill.  Sure, it doesn’t control as well as gas and there’s plenty of setup and wait time involved, but the flavor just can’t be beat.  I’m sure some might argue that one could place wood chips on a gas grill to get the same flavor, but then you’ve got a mess of ashes everywhere and you’ve given up one of the major advantages of gas in the first place.  But I digress.

Defining Dad - Rosemary Had A Little Lamb RecipeToday we’re creating a boneless grilled lamb leg using fresh herbs.  This recipe works with just about any lamb cut, though I personally prefer boneless for ease of eating.  I originally intended to go with a lamb shoulder, but the butcher didn’t have any available so we went with a lamb leg instead.  It is very important when grilling to consider the thickness of the cut of meat you’re using.  If your cut is too thick you run the risk of either undercooking your center area and potentially leaving it raw altogether or extremely overcooking the outside to ensure thorough heating and creating charred, tough meat.  Either one of these is a bummer and can be avoided by reducing the size of the cut with a few flicks of a blade.  For instance, the boneless lamb leg I used was cut in half which allows the meat to spread wide and flat on the grill for an even cook.  For thicker cuts you may want to consider cutting the meat down the center to reduce thickness or plan on cooking the meat longer over less heat to allow a “gentler” grilling to take place.  Everyone has their preference, but the ultimate goal is no one gets salmonella and no one eats a quarter inch of char.

To begin the recipe, collect the dry and wet items together.  You’ll need the following:

photo 3 (2)        •  3-4lb of boneless lamb, either shoulder or deboned leg
        •  2 tsp salt
        •  2 tsp pepper
        •  1 tsp Walker & Sons Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning, 16 Ounce
            (I love this stuff, seriously)
        •  1 large or 2 medium-sized bay leaves
        •  2 tbsp. olive oil
        •  1/3 cup lemon juice
        •  1/3 white wine
            (I used Kirkland brand Pinot Grigio–it’s surprisingly good for being bargain brand)
photo 4 (2)        •  1-2 sprigs of parsley
        •  3-4 sprigs of rosemary
        •  1-2 sprigs of mint
            (I used spearmint, but the variety is really up to you)
        •  3-4 sprigs of thyme
        •  1-2 sprigs of basil
        •  A “handful” of chives (I used about 1 tsp worth)
        •  1 large petal of garlic

All of these items can be increased or decreased based on your preference.  Personally I love a good mint with lamb, but I want the mint flavor to be a subtle flavor underpinning the savory taste of rosemary.  If you want more mint, add more in.  Alternatively, serve the final product with a good mint sauce like Colmans Classic.

Combine all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and then add in wine, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Finely chop all herbs and mix into bowl, stirring to combine.

Remove lamb from packaging, rinse, and pat dry.  Trim off any excess fat with a trimming knife.  Note that “excess” fat doesn’t mean all fat, just the fat that is hanging off the cut which photo 5(1)serves no purpose.  It is good to have a thin layer of fat on your meat to insulate the muscle from strong heat on the grill, allow the meat to stay moist, add additional flavor, and add fuel for the coals as it melts off.  Remember: fat is flavor.  Too much is bad, but none will leave you with a dry and bland meat.  It’s important to learn to find a happy medium.

Reduce the size of the meat to allow for even grilling (if possible/necessary).  For this recipe I have cut the lamb in half.

Place the lamb cuts into the mixing bowl and coat thoroughly.  Try to make sure you get at least some of your seasoning into all the folds and “cracks” of the meat.  Remember to remove the bay leave from the meat prior to placing it on the grill in the event it gets wedged in somewhere (not a bad thing).

Cover the meat/marinade and place into the refrigerator for anywhere from 2-6 hours.

Something important that we should probably cover is while alcoholic beverages allow for excellent marinade, the properties of alcohol break down proteins in a way that will give you an undesirable result if they’re in contact too long.  Leaving red meat to sit in alcohol for any amount of time might start to discolor the outside of the cut and make it look “gray.”  Don’t worry too much about that, as that will turn out fine.  What you do need to worry about is prolonged exposure, such as overnight marinating.  Never leave meat in with an alcohol marinade more than 6 hours, otherwise you’ll find the outside of the meat starting to break down and become a soft mush.  It’s… not a good mouth-feel.  Avoid at all costs.

Alright, six hours has passed and it’s time to get to the exciting part!

Start up your grill, no matter what you’ve got, and get your flames to a nice even level.  Clean off your grill grates as the heat begins to build up.  If you are working with charcoal, wait for the high flames to die down and the majority of the coals to turn to glowing grey-white embers (not burning black coals).  *Just* prior to placing the meat on the grill wipe the surface down with a few paper towels soaked with a neutral cooking oil (I prefer olive oil).  This will ensure that your moist protein won’t immediately stick to the grill when you set them down.

photo 1rNow the grilling begins!  In order to get a good sear on both sides and an even internal temperature I’d recommend leaving each side to cook for about 5-10 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill and distance to flame.  Close your lid to keep the heat in anytime you’re not actively moving the lamb.  You can cook with the top up, but it saves time and ensures a more even cook if you can get an oven-like general heat.  Once both sides have sitting on the grill surface, it’ll be time to place them on the top rack to continue heating the center until it reaches a healthy 145-150 degrees to ensure all bacteria have been destroyed/denatured.  This should generally take about 20-25 minutes on the top rack or 15-20 minutes on the grill itself.  Note that leaving the meat directly on the grill for the whole cooking time will make the outside tougher and more charred.  Once the center of the meat has reached that temperature you’ll want to remove the meat from the grill to avoid overcooking.

Something to note with lamb is that it is a fatty cut and will quickly char and attract high flamers from your grill.  You’ll want to keep an eye on it as it goes to ensure it’s not burning under the cover.  Any sign of excess smoke and/or sizzling noises means you need to spring into action and save your meat from a blackened fate.  Flames love fatty drippings, so don’t be surprised if you have to “save” your lamb at least once depending on the distance from the coals.

photo 2 (3)When the meat is adequately heated and you’re satisfied with the results, pull them off onto a clean bakeware dish or large plate–DO NOT USE THE DISH YOU MARINATED THE LAMB IN.  Allow the meat to rest for anywhere from 3-5 minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal (which you’ve presumably been scrambling to make while the meat’s been cooking out there for 30-45 minutes).  Cut the meat to the desired portion size and serve.  If you cut into the meat and feel that it’s a little raw-looking (even if cooked thoroughly), feel free to toss those separated pieces back onto the grill for a minute to let the cut sides sear.

At this point, you’ve got yourself a delicious cut of grilled lamb and are ready to chow down!  Enjoy!


A huge “thank you” to our amazing sponsors for making this blog-event happen! We couldn’t have done have pulled off this huge event for all our readers without the help of: BrylaneHome, Hampton’s Lane, and Mr Bar B Q !

Like we said earlier, there are more than 15 other bloggers participating in this great event, make sure to check out their posts too!

Burger Recipes
We’re Parents!?– Italian BBQ burgers
Courtney’s Sweets – Grilled Chicken BLT Burgers
O’boy Organic – Grilled California Buffalo Burger

Other Grilled Meat Recipes
Motherhood Community – That’s The Rub (Steak Rub)
Momma Lew – Chicken & Peppers Shish Kabobs
Open Hands – Honey BBQ Salmon
Raising A Family On A Budget – Sticky Sweet BBQ Ribs

Grilled Vegetable and Fruit Side Recipes
Diapered Knights – Gourmet Grilled Carrots
Real: The Kitchen & Beyond – Grilled Mixed Fruit w/ Grapefruit Bowl
Mom-Blog – Grilled Beets Salad

Grilled Desserts
Know Your Produce – Grilled Pineapple with Pound Cake
The Suburban Soapbox Grilled Campfire Quesadilla – aka Smores Quesadilla
Giggles Gobbles and Gulps– Grilled Plantains Banana Split

Other Grilled Recipes
Souffle Bombay – Grilled Mushroom Poppers / Grilled Mushrooms Stuffed w/ Cheese, Jalapeno & Bacon
Mommy Snapped – Grilled pizza

Defining Dad - Let's Grill GiveawayThe Grand Prize winner will receive a BrylaneHome Grilling Gazebo, one month subscription to Hampton’s Lane, and grilling accessories from Mr. Bar B-Q including, a grill pizza stone, cast iron fajita platter set, and a Triple Fish Basket.

Visit We’re Parents to learn more about these companies, to check out the Let’s Grill bloggers posts, and more by clicking HERE.

Disclosure: We’re Parents and the blogs participating are not responsible for prize fulfillment/shipment. We’re Parents received the items mentioned above to review at no cost and was not monetarily compensated for hosting this giveaway, nor were we compensated in any way for the promotion of this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and any other social media are not affiliated with this giveaway.


  1. Hi and welcome to the wild ride that is the world of blogging! Your daughter is gorgeous BTW!
    Love the lamb recipe – and especially enjoyed your tip about alcohol and meat. Your instructions are very well written and I can tell you both truly enjoy cooking and know what you are doing! Best of luck!!
    Colleen (Souffle Bombay) recently posted…Grilled Jalapeno Popper Stuffed MushroomsMy Profile

    • Michael Coxson

      Hi Colleen, thanks so much for your comments! I’ll have plenty more photos of my daughter up soon enough. :) Outside activities like grilling are a great opportunity for daddy-daughter time. In fact, I’m about to take her on a long walk right now!

  2. Paula Parker

    Oh my, the title of this blog! I never had lamb before. May try this out on a different cut of meat. Thanks for the recipe..

    • Michael Coxson

      Thanks, I enjoy word play. :) Unless you have a particular aversion I’d highly recommend trying lamb out. It’s a very unique flavor and you really can’t compare it to beef or venison.

  3. I love lamb! My wife is always looking for new recipes to try on me.. i will forward this to her.. Thanks!

  4. Mmmmmm. Juicy, juicy lamb. My mouth is watering! Nicely done! Awesome giveaway too. I would love to get the umbrella lamp I saw at too!
    Kassondra from Motherhood Community recently posted…That’s the Rub!My Profile

  5. I love grilling season, the food is always delicious in the summer.

  6. Grilling season rocks! And, I’m luck enough to live in a part of the world where I can grill year round.
    Debi @ Life Currents recently posted…Summer SaladMy Profile

  7. That is some grilling! I think my family needs to a expand our grilling options. Your meal looks fantastaic and puts our hot dogs to shame :) Thanks for the inspiration!
    Sandra – The Foodie Affair recently posted…Cherry Limeade PopsiclesMy Profile

    • Michael Coxson

      It’s a very different flavor and I’d recommend trying it if you’re feeling adventurous. I would probably describe it as “mildly sweet and gamey.” It tends to pair very well with bright and sweet flavors, such as mint or raspberry.

  8. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    I haven’t had lamb in many years. I would love to try some again soon!

  9. Rosemary does go perfectly with lamb! I love to use it in my recipes also. And I must say your daughter is soooooo cute!

  10. I can honestly say I have never had lamb. I need to try this!
    Debra recently posted…Glitter Elsa ShirtMy Profile

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