Monday, April 18, 2016

Smoked Leg of Lamb with Mediterranean Stuffing

Smoked Leg of Lamb with Mediterranean Stuffing 

   Lamb is a  favorite dish of mine and I wish I could eat it more often. I find that most cuts from the supermarket are not up to par and the local ones seem to be out of my price range for a causal Sunday dinner.  While on the hunt at my neighborhood grocery store  for something to put in the smoker this weekend, I found a beautiful all natural bone out leg of lamb at a great price! 
  This is my first time to smoke a leg of lamb; come to think of it this is the first time I have smoked any kind of lamb! Normally I roast it in the oven with a simple garlic and herb paste.  This cut had the bone removed so I decided to smoke it as it would take less time than having the bone in. 
  Since this cut has been butterflied I have to stuff it with something! Right? My usual method is to season it with a lot of  Mediterranean flavors such as garlic, sea salt, black pepper, and an abundance of fresh herbs are a match made in heaven for the richness of the lamb. I wanted the stuffing to be a nice continuation of the flavors native to the region. 
    The coastal regions of Spain, France, and Greece came to mind for this rich stuffing. A combination of garlic, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, and copious amount of garden fresh herbs was perfect for this dish.  
    I trimmed up the lamb by cutting off most of the fat and any loose parts of meat. 


1 boneless leg of lamb 
1 tablespoon of coarse sea salt per pound 
2 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper
4 cloves garlic crushed into a paste 
6-8 sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
4-6 artichoke hearts packed in water
1 ounce of feta cheese 
1 cup of fresh herbs
olive oil 
baking twine 

    Rinse off the oil from the sun dried tomatoes, dry them with a towel and julienne them finely. Mince the garlic and sprinkle a little salt and olive oil on top. With the back of your knife, crush them into a fine paste. Wash the artichoke hearts with clean water then tear them apart into small pieces. Finally chop the fresh herbs, and use what ever herbs  you have on hand. Today I used rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano,
     Rub the lamb with a little olive oil, along with garlic, salt, and pepper. Next, cover it with the fresh herbs. Save a little amount of the herbs to sprinkle over the stuffing mixture.

 Place all the stuffing ingredients in a bowl and mix. Then spread evenly on the side of the meat where the bone was removed.  I like mine a little more rustic so I leave the mixture unmixed by just placing them on the top of the meat. Try not to over crowd the stuffing in the lamb. It will only squeeze out when you tie it up. 
   Once the filling is in place it's time to tie up the leg. 

Toss a few more fresh herbs and let rest in the fridge for at least fours hours or overnight if possible,

Prepare the smoker and choose a wood that is not to heavy, I used Pecan for this one. It has a medium smoke flavor and a nice heat. Pull the meat out of the fridge and let come to room temp before you smoke it. Smoke at 250-275 degrees for at approximately four hours or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees if you like it rare which is how I prefer my lamb.

    Let rest for about fifteen minutes,covered, to let the juices redistribute. After you cut away all the binding and its time to slice and serve. 

I blanched some carrots with a few baby zucchini then sauteed  them in a little garlic and butter as a side. The flavors were fantastic together with a great addition of the light pecan smoke. The smokiness gave it a great southern twist on a classic Mediterranean dish! 

For a final touch I mixed the resting juices from the lamb with cooking liquid from the vegetables and melted in a little butter with the rest of the fresh herbs. Drizzle over the meat for a nice finishing sauce! 

Bon Appetit!!

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