How to Make Herb-Marinated Hanging Leg of Lamb

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Not in the mood to man the grill during your next cookout? (Though grilled oysters with nduja butter are always worth it.) If you want your main course to put on a show while you mingle and imbibe, go for this gourmet, easier-than-it-looks showstopper: herb-marinated hanging leg of lamb.

Here’s what you’ll need: A campfire cooking tripod, preferably one that’s cast iron, which are available at outdoors stores and online; butcher’s hook; meat thermometer.

The herb marinade is deceptively simple but insanely flavorful, imparting tanginess from the outside crust down to the bone. Now, as for the cooking method, don’t be intimidated. The key is a consistent flame. You’re letting your equipment do all the work. Just skewer the butcher’s hook through the leg of lamb and position roughly two to three feet over the fire, while keeping the rig and lamb close to the ground for even cooking.

The cast iron under the lamb will catch all those beautiful drippings; add root vegetables, like we suggest in the recipe below, or merely use it to baste the lamb as it cooks.

Recipe and photo provided by Derek Wolf and overthefirecooking.com.

Recipe: How to Make Herb-Marinated Hanging Leg of Lamb

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  • 1 whole leg of lamb (bone-in)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 small white onion, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp. oil

Use sharp knife to score about a dozen slits all over outer fat layer of leg of lamb.

In blender, mix all other ingredients until smooth. Place lamb into foodsafe container and pour marinade over. Place in refrigerator at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. Rotate leg every few hours to marinate evenly.

Use an existing fire ring or construct a camping-style ring with large rocks. Start fire and let settle to medium-high blaze, about 325°F. Position tripod and attach chain and hook to exposed bone so that leg hangs about 2 feet from fire. Place cast-iron skillet underneath filled with carrots and potatoes to cook in fat drippings.

Let lamb roast 1 hour until browned, adding wood as needed to maintain temperature. Rotate leg and roast 1 more hour. Once fully browned, baste with drippings and rotate every 30 minutes for about 2 hours more, until internal temperature reads 145°F on thermometer.

Once done, pull off fire and let rest 15 minutes. Slice leg about ½-inch thick and serve with carrots, potatoes, and, if desired, tortillas.

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