Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Grilled Feast

After a long and miserable winter I have been just itching to get out and grill. I have been craving the smokey taste of a good meal cooked in the Stone Pony, my outdoor stone oven. Easter Sunday had good weather, and my whole family was eager to have a spring feast.

This luscious dinner features a leg of lamb, turkey wings, and  natural casing franks. The side dishes are light to compensate for all the meat. We served it with arugula, radishes, Armenian cucumbers and tomatoes. We also included Tahini Dipping Sauce and Yogurt Cucumber Salad.  There are enough leftovers to make lunches for a family of four for a week.

You don't need a stone oven to make this delicious feast, a standard charcoal or gas grill will do fine. I would suggest two outstanding accessories that you can buy for your grill that open up a world of possibilities.

Get yourself a rotisserie kit for your grill, which you can buy at any hardware or home store.  These are easy to install motorized affairs which make it easy to cook meat just right because it prevents burning. Ribs, chicken, turkey, and sausage all come out perfect when you use the rotisserie.

You can also get a rotisserie basket, which is the greatest thing to have. A basket allows you to cook things like sausage, chops, or chicken drumsticks
without losing half of your food into the fire.

For this repast I marinated a leg of lamb in my Mediterranean Dry Rub. I also had some turkey wings in my freezer from Thanksgiving, and my son was craving grilled hot dogs. I won't even mention that we also made a brown sugar ham indoors, but that is a story for another day.

A leg of lamb is very easy to de-bone if you allow yourself to be sloppy. Don't worry about leaving too much meat on the bone, you can always grill the meaty bone and serve it to your guest of honor, or eat it yourself.


  • 1 medium leg of lamb, de-boned
  • 4 whole turkey wings
  • 1 pack of high quality natural casing beef franks
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped garlic
  • 6 cloves whole garlic
  • Coarse sea salt to taste.


  1. You must prep your meats at least 24-48 hours in advance. Hint: I prep mine before vacuum sealing and freezing, so that I can always be ready for a party.
  2. De-bone the leg of lamb by cutting away the meat around the bone. Don't worry about cutting it too close.
  3. If there is a thick fat rind on the leg, peel most of it away. Again, no need to be precise, some fat helps to baste the leg during cooking. Most of the fat will drip off anyways.
  4. Cut the turkey wings along the joint with a heavy, sharp knife. For each wing this will create a piece that looks like a drumstick and another that looks like a wing tip. Both will be delicious.
  5. Tenderize the leg by pounding with a meat hammer and poking it all over with a fork. You can also buy a gadget full of pins that can tenderize meat.
  6. With a narrow, sharp knife make incisions in the lamb and push in the cloves of garlic.
  7. Lightly sprinkle both sides with sea salt.
  8. coat the meat on both sides with chopped garlic.
  9. Sprinkle the Mediterranean Dry Rub liberally on bot sides of the meat and pat down.
  10. Salt, garlic, and dry rub the turkey wings the same way that you did the lamb.
  11. Let all the meat sit covered in the fridge for at least 1 day. You should remove the meat from the fridge at least 2 hours before cooking so that it comes to room temperature.
  12. Rub the inside of the grill basket with oil, or spray with cooking spray. This is to prevent meat loss through sticking.
  13. Stuff the lamb into the basked and use the turkey wings to fill in the gaps. You want the basket to be overstuffed so that things are really tight. This is because the meat will shrink and you don't want it moving around or falling into the fire.
  14. Push the rotisserie skewer through the basket only after you have stuffed the meat. The skewer will make things even more snug.
  15. Install the skewered basked into your rotisserie on the grill. The picture above shows my rotisserie installed in the Stone Pony.
  16. Cook over low heat for at least 2 hours, my leg was large so I cooked it for 3 hours.
  17. Toward the end of the cooking time slide the hot dogs onto the grill under the rotating basket. This will cause the juices from the meat to flavor the hot dogs as they cook.
  18. Cook the hot dogs about 5 minutes on each side.
  19. Take your time enjoying this meal and don't eat this much meat too often.
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