In the chilly fall it’s a nice treat to ‘warm up the house’ by having the oven on all day roasting a big turkey, baking pies and bubbly side dishes, but that’s not the case for spring. Easter Sunday is often a lovely, mild spring day that makes you want to open all the windows and let the sunshine in. Who wants to work in a hot kitchen on a day like that?
A few years ago my husband and I got the notion to use our grill to cook Easter dinner, and now it is a family tradition. We love lamb for Easter dinner and figured out how to grill enough for a crowd of 12 in less than 30 minutes. You can do the same in just a few simple steps.
1. Ask your butcher to butterfly a boneless leg of lamb, allowing about a half-pound per person. For our crowd of 12 we ordered between six and seven pounds.
2. Secure the meat with 4 long metal skewers, running 2 lengthwise and 2 crosswise. Because this cut of meat is not as streamlined as boneless poultry, use the skewers to keep the meat in one piece so it cooks evenly on the grill.
3. Make a marinade of garlic slices, fresh rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper. Rub evenly to coat both sides and marinate at room temperature for about one hour.
4. Grill the lamb over high heat, allowing about 10-12 minutes per side, flipping once. A six to seven pound piece of lamb will be done in about 20-25 minutes.
5. Remove from grill and place on cutting board, tent with foil, and allow meat to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the skewers and cut into pieces to serve.
How’s that for a simple holiday meal?
To round out your menu, prepare light, refreshing side dishes in advance and finish them while the lamb grills and rests. Keep it simple with your vegetables and just steam, grill or roast them.
Here is our favorite Easter menu:
Grilled Leg of Lamb with Fresh Mint Sauce
Steamed Asparagus with Butter & Lemon
Green Beans Amandine
Oven Roasted New Potatoes
This Easter, think outside the oven, crank up the grill, and enjoy the spring weather with your family and friends!
Recipe for Fresh Mint Sauce
An excellent alternative to mint jelly, and especially tart and delicious with the grilled lamb
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup water
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
Combine vinegar, water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the mint leaves and let stand for at least 1 hour before serving.
Chef Sarah Copeland