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Grilled Herb-Crusted Leg of Lamb with Fresh Mint Sauce

Scott Phillips

Servings: ten to twelve.

Boneless leg of lamb is the perfect cut for feeding a crowd. It’s large, wonderfully flavorful, easy to prepare, and cooks to varied donesses. I like butterflying (or further flattening out) this cut and gently pounding it to make it more uniform for cooking.


For the lamb:

  • 1 large or 2 small boneless legs of lamb (about 5-1/2 lb.)
  • 2 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 2 Tbs.)
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary

For the sauce:

  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar; more as needed
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt; more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper; more as needed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint (about 1 bunch)
  • 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar; more as needed
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on twelve servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 290
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 100
  • Fat (g): 12
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Cholesterol (mg): 120
  • Sodium (mg): 870
  • Carbohydrates (g): 4
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 40


At least 1 day ahead marinate the lamb:

  • Set the lamb flat on a large cutting board. Trim any excess fat and then make deep horizontal slices into the thicker parts and open like a book to make an even thickness all around. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of the lamb and using a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet, pound to flatten slightly and make the thickness more uniform. Cut the meat into 2 or 3 more-manageable pieces. Sprinkle all over with 1 Tbs. of the salt and 1 tsp. of the pepper.
  • In a small bowl, mix the mustard, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and the remaining 1 Tbs. In a small bowl, mix the mustard, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and the remaining 1 Tbs. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Spread all over the lamb, transfer to a large nonreactive dish, cover, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 2 days.

Just before grilling, make the sauce:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk 1/4 cup water with the sugar, salt, and pepper.they don’t have to dissolve completely. Stir in the mint, vinegar, and oil. Let sit while the lamb grills. Taste and season with more sugar, salt, and pepper if needed. (The sauce should have a sharp, acidic tang to complement the rich lamb.)

Grill the lamb:

  • Heat a gas grill to medium high or prepare a charcoal fi re with hot and medium-hot areas. Put the lamb on the grill (on the hotter part if using a charcoal fire) and cook (covered on a gas grill) without disturbing it until it’s nicely browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip, reduce the heat on the gas grill to medium (or move to the cooler part of the charcoal fire), and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a thicker part of the lamb registers 130°F for medium rare, 5 to 8 more minutes.
  • Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain. and serve with the mint sauce.

Serve with Chopped Tomato & Cucumber Salad with Mint & Feta.

Look for a spicy Shiraz blend such as the Peter Lehmann “Clancy’s,” Barossa Valley.

Stuff leftover lamb and tomato-cucumber salad (see serving suggestion, above) into a pita for sandwiches.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • gretch | 07/19/2014

    The recipe was easy to follow and the results were outstanding. I tripled the amounts to serve 30 and had some leftovers, which were welcomed the next day. Everyone enjoyed the lamb. The fresh mint sauce was fantastic. It is my new go-to lamb recipe.

  • desertsage | 07/14/2014

    This is a great choice for entertaining. The marinade is a snap, and yet the flavor is wonderful. I was daunted by the grilling aspect, but the flattening and pounding make grilling easy. Lots of compliments on this recipe.

  • Bigdaddy316 | 03/11/2012

    Great recipe! The mint sauce surprised me, seemed so simple but was a fantastic complement to the char on the lamb.

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