The Chew: Mario Batali Grilled Leg of Lamb with Mint Pesto Recipe

The Chew: Mario Batali Dish Of the Day – Easter Edition

For his Dish of the Day, Mario Batali made a grilled leg of lamb with mint pesto along with some braised potatoes and scallions to go as a side dish. He said this is an excellent dish to serve at Easter dinner because it only costs about $3 a serving.

Batali said it is best to get a spring lamb for this meal, meaning a lamb up to 10 months old. He also suggested asking your butcher to butterfly the lamb leg open for you, which will make it easier to grill.

Mario Batali Grilled Leg Of Lamb With Mint Pesto Recipe

The Chew: Mario Batali Grilled Leg of Lamb with Mint Pesto Recipe

Mario Batali showed The Chew viewers how to make his grilled leg of lamb with mint pesto and a side dish of potatoes, scallions, lemon and wine.

Mario Batali Grilled Leg Of Lamb With Mint Pesto Ingredients: 

  • 8 pound leg of lamb (deboned, excess fat trimmed and butterflied)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/3 pine nuts, toasted
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Mario Batali Grilled Leg Of Lamb With Mint Pesto Directions: 
For the Lamb: 
  • Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper and then rub three cloves of garlic and rosemary all over the meat. Drizzle with olive oil and then place in a roasting pan to marinate. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice over the lamb and add the lemon to the pan to marinate with the lamb. Marinate for a minimum of two hours but preferably overnight. Batali said seasoning the meat heavily with salt will create a sort of dry brine. He suggested doing this the night before you cook the lamb. 

 For the Mint Pesto: 

  • Combine the mint leaves, the basil, the Parmigiano-Reggiano, the pine nuts and three garlic cloves in a food processor, except the oil. Begin to puree while slowly adding the 1/4 cup of oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
  • Remove the lamb from the refrigerator an hour before cooking to come to room temperature. Remove the lamb from the marinade, reserving marinade for basting. 
  • Lay the lamb onto the grill fat-side down. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes and flip to cook on the second side for 15 to 20 more minutes, basting with reserved marinade occasionally. Move the lamb to a cooler area on the grill if the meat starts to char too much. Batali said do not be afraid to close the grill to create a convection oven type of cooking.
  • Remove from the grill when an instant-read thermometer registers 130 degrees. This is medium-rare lamb. Cook for longer or for less according to what you like best. 
  • Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. When it is time to slice, make sure to slice against the grain of the meat. Reserve the juices from resting and pour over the sliced meat. Serve with the mint basil pesto.

Mario Batali Braised Scallions and Potatoes Recipe

Mario Batali Braised Scallions and Potatoes Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds tiny yukon gold potatoes, chopped in half
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 bunches scallions (cut into 2 inch lengths)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (sliced)
  • 1 cup Vin Santo
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lemon cut into four pieces
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Mario Batali Braised Scallions and Potatoes Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place a heavy-bottomed pot over a medium-high heat and add the butter. Toss in the potatoes, garlic, scallions and lemon wedges and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the Vin Santo and water, bring to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Mario Batali said a great substitute for Vin Santo is sherry or a favorite liquor.
  • Cook at a gentle simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
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About the author

After graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Journalism and Anthropology, I managed a pizza place for a year, while freelancing for various newspapers in the area. Working every weekend in sauna like conditions, never being able to take a day off and being covered in flour is something I will not miss. I hope Recapo has air conditioning.

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