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Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Garlic & Curry Spices

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8-20

My wife, Fiona, and I love to grill whole butterflied leg of lamb. It’s perfect for low-key entertaining because some sections of the meat cook to medium rare, others medium, and still others medium well—so everyone’s taste is sure to be satisfied. Because the meat is relatively thin, butterflied lamb cooks much faster than a traditional leg.


  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. coriander seeds, cracked or coarsely ground
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. sweet curry powder
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. honey
  • 1 Tbs. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 boneless butterflied leg of lamb, 3 to 5 lb., trimmed of excess fat, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 6 sprigs fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on ten servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 260
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 110
  • Fat (g): 13
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 80
  • Sodium (mg): 440
  • Carbohydrates (g): 8
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 25


Prepare the lamb:

  • Finely chop the garlic, sprinkle the salt over it, and mash with the flat side of the knife to make a paste. Put the cracked coriander and curry powder in a cold, dry sauté pan and set it over medium-low heat. Shake the pan a few times while the spices toast until they have a strong nutty smell, 1 to 3 minutes. Don’t let them burn.
  • In a small bowl, mix the garlic paste, toasted spices, ginger, sherry olive oil, honey, and pepper until the mixture resembles a somewhat thin, grainy soup.
  • If you like, separate the lamb along its natural seams into smaller, easier-to-handle pieces. Put the lamb in a shallow nonreactive baking dish and pour the marinade over the meat. Cover with plastic wrap, set aside, and let the flavors penetrate the meat for 2 hours at room temperature (or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator). Turn the meat twice during the marinating time.

Grill the lamb:

  • Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or gas grill. Grill the lamb (covered if using a gas grill, uncovered if using charcoal) on one side until nicely charred, abou 10 minutes. Turn the meat over and continue grilling (again, covered if using a gas grill, uncovered if using charcoal) until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a thick section of the meat registers 130° to 135°F for medium rare, 7 to 12 min., depending on what type of grill you use (If you like your lamb cooked to medium, continue grilling until the meat’s temperature reaches 140° to 145°F; for medium well, 150° to 155°F. Transfer the lamb to a tray or carving board, and let it rest for 8 to 10 min. Carve the lamb across the grain into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange the slices on a platter, drizzle with the juices that accumulated during resting, and sprinkle with the cilantro before serving.


Butterflied leg of lamb has been completely boned and cut open into one large, flat sheet. Choose a fairly lean piece with medium- to deep-red meat and little connective tissue. To make the cut easier to handle, separate it into smaller pieces at the seams, if you like.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • lyricman | 03/31/2012

    very, very good. Both wife and girls loved it. very flavorful and bold.

  • FreddieFlea | 02/17/2008

    Really excellent marinade. I left the lamb in the frig overnight and it gave great flavor. I think it would work well with venison as well. Lots of garlic flavor, but not overpowering. It is very easy and would make a fine company meal.

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