Smoked + Braised Leg of Lamb

An urgent quest to find a basic smoked Leg of Lamb recipe resulted in a truly remarkable BBQ experience. A few weeks ago when I first set out to do pulled Leg of Lamb I found it rather difficult to find any relevant information on exactly how to do it. As I combed through Google all I could find was result after result warning of the tough and chewy terrors that would arise if I slow smoked leg of lamb. Needing a second opinion, I sought out various forum threads to find a more personal account of slow smoked Leg of Lamb.

To my surprise there just wasn’t an abundant amount of information on this particular technique for this particular meat. All I could get was information on Lamb shoulder. Since I’d never come across lamb shoulder I didn’t want to bank on finding it within the limited amount of time that I had. Long story short I wanted pulled Leg of Lamb and ultimately that’s what I was going to have. This is what happened!

*Boneless Leg of Lamb

Brine Time: 48 Hours
Cook Time: 6 Hours

Realizing that added moisture was going to be the key, my first step was a brine. I know that a good brine can increase the overall weight of a piece of meat by at least ten percent. The additional moisture from the brine would offset at least some of the effects of limited fat content.

Brine Ingredients:

Kosher Salt
Dried Rosemary
Dried Thyme
Granulated Garlic
Coriander Seeds
Juniper Berries

1. Begin the brine process by adding 3 quarts of water to a food safe container.

2. Add one cup of Kosher Salt to the brine container along with one cup of Granulated Garlic.

3. Stir the Kosher Salt and Granulated Garlic until the salt is dissolved.

4. Add one cup of Dried Rosemary and Dried Thyme to the mixture.

5. Round out the brine with a handful of Coriander Seeds and Juniper Berries.

6. Remove the Leg of Lamb from the packaging and submerge it in the brine solution.

7. If the Leg of Lamb is tied in a mesh net, leave the net on.

8. Allow the Leg of Lamb to stay in the brine solution refrigerated for up to 48 hours.

Rub Ingredients:

Smofried SPG BBQ Rub
Dried Rosemary
Dried Thyme

1. Once the brine is completed and the time has come to cook.

2. Heat a Big Green Egg or standard smoker to 300F using lump charcoal and cherry wood.

3. While the smoker is coming to temperature remove the Leg of Lamb from the brine and remove the mesh net.

4. Trim away as much of the fat as possible without sacrificing the meat.

5. Cut the Leg of Lamb into two portions at the thinnest points. This will help with additional fat removal and also create more surface area during the smoke / roast.

6. Once all of the fat is removed begin rubbing the Leg of Lamb with EVOO, making sure to cover all of the surface.

7. Combine Dried Rosemary, Dried Thyme and Smofried SPG BBQ Rub in a small bowl. Rub the dry ingredients over the Leg of Lamb liberally but evenly.

Braising Mixture Ingredients:

Sesame Oil
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Rice Wine Vinegar
Soy Sauce
Honey

1. Place a large cast iron skillet inside the smoker as it comes to temperature.

2. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine Sesame Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Rice Wine Vinegar, Soy Sauce and Honey.

3. Mix the ingredients with a whisk until a uniform color is achieved.

4A Pour the braising mix into the cast iron skillet then place the rubbed Let go Lamb in the liquid.

5. Allow the Leg of Lamb to smoke and braise for 6 hours.

6. Turn and rotate the Leg of Lamb pieces each hour.

7. Into the last two hours begin attempting to break the Leg of Lamb pieces apart with a set of tongs. The meat will break down easier as you get closer to six hours.

8. Once you can easily break apart all of the meat do so inside of the cast iron skillet.

9. This will allow the meat to soak up all of the remaining liquid from the braising mix.

10. Remove the shredded Leg of Lamb from the cast iron skillet and serve with slider rolls or tacos.

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