Last summer we spent time on the beautiful Greek island of Corfu where delicious locally produced meats, spices and produce are abundant. Our guide Spiros helped us find all sorts of restaurants and markets and also taught me this traditional Greek way to cook leg of lamb. Like so much of the delicious food we enjoyed there this is a simple recipe with just a few ingredients. The key is to use high quality herbs, olive oil and garlic. The traditional tzatziki sauce has a cool, light flavor that really complements the herb crust.
- 1 5-6 pound leg of lamb, boneless
- 2 tbsp rosemary
- 2 tbsp thyme
- 2 tbsp Greek oregano
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4-6 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
Tzatziki sauce: (make night before and refrigerate)
- 1 cup Greek whole yogurt
- 1 cucumber, seeded, finely grated and drained
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice.
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill.
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- black pepper (to taste)
To start light the fire in your grill or smoker and get the temperature up to 325 degrees. If using a grill or kamado cooker create an indirect cooking area. Using a whisk mix the rosemary, thyme, oregano, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper together thoroughly. Make a series of shallow slits all over the surface of the lamb. Baste on all sides generously. There will be leftovers and set them aside to baste the lamb during cooking. I’m using a rotisserie so after placing it on the spit I tied it with twine to create a symmetrical roast that will rotate smoothly.
Place the lamb in the smoker or grill pre-heated to 325 degrees and close the lid. Every 30 minutes use the remaining olive oil, lemon, garlic, herb mixture to baste the lamb. Also turn over each time if it’s sitting on a grill.
Let the lamb cook about 1 1/2 hours. Greek lamb is well done however it will not be dry if basted and turned regularly.
To make the tzatziki sauce combine the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon, olive oil, dill, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Whisk together thoroughly and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors combine.