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Infuse Spring Celebrations With Grilled Lamb

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwired) -- 03/07/14 -- (Family Features) Roasted leg of lamb traditionally takes center stage for spring celebrations around the family dinner table. This flavorful recipe from Boston Chef Michael Scelfo for Grilled American Lamb Sirloin is a fresh spin on whole leg roasts, and simplifies spring entertaining. While sirloin chops are commonly found in grocery stores, consider ordering a whole sirloin roast -- a portion of the leg -- from your butcher for a larger gathering.

Though you may be most familiar with roasting or braising, American lamb can be deliciously prepared a variety of ways. For example, this grilled lamb recipe pairs a zesty marinade with a hint of cacao for a fresh and seasonal American lamb spread. Simple marinades and rubs will bring out the best in lamb, creating a fresh flavor that enhances and tenderizes the meat.

Invest in a quality meat thermometer to avoid overcooking lamb. The key to tender and flavorful meat is removing the lamb from the heat when it reaches 135 degrees. Then, let it rest before cutting, bringing the internal temperature to 145 degrees (medium rare).

Grilled American Lamb Sirloin
Serves 4 to 6

1 1/2  pounds American lamb sirloin or sirloin chops
2      lemons
3      cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
3      anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
1/2    cup pitted black olives, plus a few for garnish
2/3    cup flat leaf parsley leaves
2      tablespoons cacao nibs
3      tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Pat sirloin dry and place in 8-inch square baking dish. Coarsely chop zest of one lemon and place in food processor or blender. Add juice of both lemons and remaining ingredients. Roughly puree by pulsing food processor or blender several times, until mixture is smooth with some small chunks.

Rub puree over meat. Loosely cover pan with plastic wrap and marinate at least 2 hours in refrigerator, preferably overnight.

Remove sirloin from refrigerator one hour prior to cooking to bring meat to room temperature. Heat gas or charcoal grill so one section is approximately 450 degrees F degrees, and a second section is about 350 degrees F.

When grill is hot, scrape excess rub off sirloin and place it on hot side of grill, flat side down. Sear 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until nicely charred. Move sirloin to cooler side of grill and continue to cook, covered, until it reaches 135 degrees F, approximately 25 minutes or 15 to 20 minutes per pound. (For individual chops, use medium hot grill, 4 to 6 minutes per side.)

Before slicing, allow meat to rest, loosely covered with foil, for 15 minutes to bring the internal temperature to 145 degrees F (medium rare).

Serving tip: Serve on a bed of Carrot & Coriander Mash, topped with Puree of Grilled Ramps. Find the full recipe and others at www.americanlamb.com.

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