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Jerked Leg of Lamb

Yield 12
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.


  • 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

How to Make It

  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.

  4. 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.