This blog post is about making a Greek style rotisserie boneless leg of lamb on your gas grill. I know the rotisserie may be a sore point for many wives out there, because your husband insisted on the most expensive gas grill for the sake of the rotisserie function. Most likely your Husband sold you on fantasies of homemade rotisserie chickens and ribs. Although like most of us, you get lazy and have used it just once or twice. Perhaps the rotisserie skewer is still in its original package? Don’t worry! You are not alone.
For me rotisserie cooking conjures up memories of a vacation in Greece, while I was still in my early 20’s. I learned to make whole rotisserie lamb from a Greek gentleman named Nikoli, on the island of Crete. Later in life, these memories inspired me to find a gas grill with the rotisserie function. I have adapted Nikoli’s whole lamb recipe to cook on a gas grill rotisserie and using ingredients readily available in most grocery stores. This recipe is relatively easy and a great excuse to start using that rotisserie again… or for the first time.
Greek Style Rotisserie Boneless Leg of Lamb Recipe
- 4 pound boneless leg of lamb (this item can be obtained from Costco)
- 1/3 cup Italian or Greek salad dressing
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 1/4 cup mustard powder
- 2 tbsp dry basil
- 1 tbsp dry mint
- 1 tbsp dry oregano
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
Step 1 – Let the lamb rest at room temperature. The goal is to get the lamb’s internal temperature as close a possible to the exterior temperature. This process should take about 60 minutes.
Step 2 – Mix the dressing, lemon juice and red wine into a large mixing bowl.
Step 3 – Marinate the lamb in the liquid mix for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than 2 hours.
Note: You can substitute the bottled dressing with your own vinaigrette dressing. Bottled dressings save time and I have noticed very little flavor differences.
Step 4 – Combine all the dry seasonings in a mixing bowl.
Step 5 – Remove the lamb from the marinade and let excess liquids drip off. Do not pat dry; the moisture will be used to help the dry rub stick to the meat.
Step 6 -Coat the lamb liberally with the dry rub, so that every inch of the lamb is covered. The lamb will have a pasty look as the liquid and dry seasonings combine. This paste will create a nice crusting on the meat that will lock in the juices.
Step 7 -Insert the rotisserie rod through the meat and secure with the rotisserie hooks.
Step 8 – Using a gas grill with a rotisserie function, place a cookie sheet wrapped in foil under the radiant burner. Next, connect the rotisserie skewer to the rotation motor and turn the motor on slow. Cook the lamb 20 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees for medium.
Note: Use a thermometer to check the temperature every 20 minutes. Every gas grill cooks differently.
Step 9 – Set the rotisserie burner to high for the first 20 minutes. This technique will sear the meat and ensure the moisture is locked into the meat. After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to medium.
Note: Be sure to also baste the rotisserie every 20 minutes with the drippings. I recommend you do this when you check the temperature. Be sure to close the hood when you are not basting!
Step 10 – When the lamb reaches an internal temperature of 130, crank the burner to high; as a result, the exterior will turn slightly crispy and crunchy.
Note: Use common sense at this stage, if you already have heavy charring, skip the last step.
Step 11 – Remove the meat from the flame, extract the skewer, and wrap the lamb up in heavy foil. Let the lamb rest in the foil for 30 minutes, allowing the temperature to settle and the juices to withdraw back into the muscle of the meat.
Step 12 – After 30 minutes resting, remove the lamb from the foil pouch and retain the meat juices for an au jus or sauce.
Note: The meat will continue to cook in the foil, so if you wish your meat to be a little more rare, then I suggest taking it out at 130 degrees.
Step 13 – Place the meat on the cutting board and cut it against the muscle grain into half inch slices. Be sure to retain the juices from the cut.
Serve the lamb with toasted pita, tzatziki, feta, tomato, and Persian cucumbers. I like to dip the lamb pita into the juice like an au jus.
I recommend a Central Coast California Zinfandel with this dish as it handles the gamey lamb and and adds some jammy fruit notes.
Special thanks to Nikoli, whereever you are, for sharing your knowledge and inspiring me to cook.