Spice-Coated Lamb Roast

I had a small, butterflied leg of lamb that was called “grill-ready” which is what I intended to do with it.  But the weather is back in the too hot zone, and I haven’t had the energy to take the gas cylinders to be filled. Besides, I think there are yellow jackets living in the compartment where the cylinder goes, and although it would be satisfying to light the grill and incinerate them, I don’t want to incur their wrath by replacing the cylinder.

So since I was smoking a large amount of pork tenderloin in the smoker Saturday, I thought that I might as well smoke the lamb, too.  I wanted to do something interesting with it, so I made a rub that vaguely resembles Tandoori (Indian spices in yogurt) and coated the lamb before smoking. This lamb was just fabulous. The outside was a little crisp (I ran it under the broiler) and flavorful without being mouth-burning hot. The inside was pink and juicy, with a lightly smoked flavor that was not overpowering. I smoked it over apple wood, which tends to be mild. And the lamb was so tender you could cut it with a fork.

Spiced lamb sliced

Spice-Coated Lamb Roast

1½ to 2 pounds lean boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of all visible fat
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon dried bread crumbs
3 Tablespoons non-fat yogurt
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons raisins
1 Tablespoon canola oil

In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, garlic, coriander, cumin, and salt. In a food processor, process the bread crumbs, yogurt, lemon juice, raisins, and oil until smooth. Add the spice mixture and pulse several times to mix. Rub the mixture all over the leg of lamb. Smoke for 2½  to 3 hours (or according to your smoker’s instructions.)  I used plain water in the smoker’s water basin to keep the meat moist.  When I finished the smoking process, I thought the meat looked unattractive, so put it under the broiler for 5 minutes a side to crisp up the outside. This lamb is about 9 grams of fat for a 4 ounce serving.

spiced lamb whole

Variation: The recipe I referenced for the spice coating called for the lamb to be oven roasted, so here are the instructions for roasting it more traditionally.  Make the spice coating as above. Preheat the oven to 350. After coating the lamb, wrap it in aluminum foil and roast it for about an hour. Remove the lamb from the oven, open the foil, and spoon the spice mixture over the lamb. Return to the oven and cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes more.


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I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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