Rosé-Marinated Grilled Leg of Lamb with Walnut Salsa Fresca

leg of lamb

Celebrate the joy of the Spring season with a culinary masterpiece that captures the richness of tradition and the freshness of spring. This Rosé-Marinated Grilled Leg of Lamb with Walnut Salsa Fresca is a flavorful combination of tender lamb, bright herbs, and a touch of rosé wine that will make this dish one to remember.


Grilled Lamb

  • 1 cup rosé wine (such as Commanderie de Peyrassol Cuvée des Commandeurs)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh rosemary leaves (about 1 ounce) (from 2 bunches), plus rosemary sprigs, for garnish
  • 2 garlic heads, cloves separated and peeled (about 3/4 cup)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 (6- to 7-pound) bone-in leg of lamb with shank attached, trimmed
  • 1 (2-ounce) can anchovy fillets in oil (such as Cento), drained

Walnut Salsa Fresca

  • 2 cups walnuts, toasted and finely chopped (about 1 3/4 cups
  • 1 (2-ounce) can anchovy fillets in oil (such as Cento), drained and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Make the grilled lamb:

  1. Bring wine to a boil in a small saucepan over high. Boil, undisturbed, until flavors are concentrated, most of the alcohol has cooked off, and liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from heat; add salt, and stir until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  2. Combine cooled wine mixture, rosemary leaves, garlic, oil, and pepper in a blender. Process until a thick paste forms, about 1 minute. Set aside. Using a sharp paring knife, puncture lamb leg every 11/2 to 2 inches, creating about 1-inch-deep slits (about 1/2 inch wide). Tear anchovies into small pieces (halves or thirds), and stuff into lamb slits. Smear lamb exterior with rosé mixture, rubbing it into the slits. Wrap lamb tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  3. Uncover lamb, and let stand at room temperature about 1 hour. Open bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light charcoal chimney starter filled with briquettes. When briquettes are covered with gray ash, pour them onto bottom grate of grill, and push to one side of the grill. Adjust vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 400°F. Coat top grate with oil; place grate on grill, and preheat 5 minutes. Place lamb, fat side up, on oiled grates over side with coals. Grill, uncovered, turning occasionally, until lamb is charred with a deep brown crust on all sides, about 15 minutes. A flare-up might occur from the fat rendering; if so, close the lid, or transfer lamb to side of grill without coals until flare-up goes down, and then uncover, or transfer lamb back to grates over coals.
  4. Transfer lamb, fat side up, to side of grill without coals. Insert a leave-in thermometer in thickest portion of lamb. Grill, covered, adjusting vents as needed to maintain internal grill temperature of 400°F, until leave-in thermometer in lamb registers 115°F to 120°F for medium-rare, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes, rotating lamb 90 degrees on grates every 30 minutes (being mindful of the thermometer probe). If grill temperature drops below 350°F, prepare more briquettes, and replenish as needed. Transfer lamb to a cutting board. Loosely tent with aluminum foil, and let rest 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the walnut salsa fresca:

  1. Stir together walnuts, anchovies, lemon zest, chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add oil, and stir to combine. Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.
  2. Hold lamb shank in one hand while you cut the meat away from the bone in large slices, rotating the leg as needed. Arrange lamb slices, crust side up, on a platter. Garnish grilled lamb with rosemary sprigs, and serve with walnut salsa fresca.

Essential Tools and Equipment
A heavy-duty commercial grill for high-volume cooking, stainless steel mixing bowls for marinating and making salsa, a large commercial chef’s knife for effective trimming, roomy cutting boards, industrial-grade tongs for precise handling, sturdy basting brushes for applying marinade, aluminum foil sheets for tenting and resting, commercial-grade serving platters for presentation, and multiple kitchen timers for effective time management are all necessary tools for making the Rosé-Marinated Grilled Leg of Lamb with Walnut Salsa Fresca in a commercial kitchen. In addition to meeting the needs of a busy commercial kitchen, these instruments guarantee a seamless and effective cooking procedure that produces mouthwatering results for customers enjoying Spring celebrations.

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