Jerked Leg of Lamb

Food & Wine
This dish was inspired by the wonderful jerked lamb at the Blue Lagoon Restaurant in Port Antonio, Jamaica. For the best flavor, marinate the meat overnight.


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2 1/2 tablespoons whole allspice berries
One 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 large scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb--trimmed, cut into 3 equal pieces and butterflied for even thickness


1. In a medium skillet, combine the allspice, cinnamon, peppercorns and cloves and cook over moderate heat until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Transfer the spices to a plate and let cool, then grind them to a powder in a spice grinder.

2. In a food processor, combine the soy sauce, onion, garlic, scallions, oil, rum, thyme, salt, nutmeg and ground spices and process to a paste. In a large shallow dish, coat the lamb with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

3. Light a grill or preheat a broiler. Grill the lamb over a moderately high flame or broil for about 10 minutes per side for medium rare, rotating and turning the meat for even cooking. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes. Carve the lamb across the grain and serve hot.

Wine Recommendation: The intense marinade gives spice to the lamb, narrowing the wine choice to a red with a pronounced pepperiness. But the plantains need something fruity. The solution? A fruity, spicy California Zinfandel, such as the 1996 Rabbit Ridge or the 1996 Alderbrook O.V.O.C.

Created date

June 2004