Spinnin’ Harissa Lamb on the Rotisserie

It’s no secret that I have fallen in love with meat cooked on the rotisserie.  The meaty juiciness, beautiful even color and crispy skin makes for Homer Simpson-like groans of appreciation!  I have been waiting to do a boneless leg of lamb on the rotisserie for a few weeks now and what better time than the final week of winter.  Leg of lamb is my family’s go to roast for holidays so it bring up all kinds of warm fuzzy feelings for me.  When my mom roasts a leg of lamb, it’s on the bone and just straight up seasoned with salt and pepper <<insert Homer sounds>>.  I’m going to to bump it up a little bit with my homemade harissa paste and rolled up with some fresh herbs and garlic and give it a spin on the rotisserie.  If you don’t have a rotisserie attachment on your grill (you really should think about getting one) you can still make this and grill it with indirect heat.

Harissa Leg of Lamb

Rotisserie Harissa Leg of Lamb with Cooling Fresh Herb Yogurt Sauce

Serves eight to ten

For lamb:
1 (4 to 5 pound) boneless leg of lamb, butterflied
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 to 1/2 cup store-bought or my homemade harissa
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For yogurt sauce:
2 cups Greek yogurt (I used a sheep’s milk yogurt… cuz I had some)
2 cloves garlic, creamed *(see TIP)
2 Tablespoons freshly chopped mint
2 Tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Butcher’s twine
Instant Read Thermometer

For serving:
Naan or other flat bread
Extra harissa
Grill humidifier or a small pan

Grilling Method:

Have your butcher butterfly your leg of lamb.  If you don’t have a butcher, it’s really not that hard because half the job is done when they took the bone out.  Remove lamb from the netting and turn it over to where the cuts have been made to remove the bone. Sometimes it isn’t cut all the way through, so finish the cut so the meat open up “flat”.  You just want to even it up a bit so that the entire piece is the same thickness – about 1 1/2 to 2 inches.  Do this by holding the knife parallel to work surface and begin slicing inward, pulling back the meat with your free hand and unrolling the thicker pieces like a carpet.

Set up the grill for indirect/rotisserie cooking with a drip pan and stabilize the heat at 325°F to 350°F.  Place a drip pan below where lamb will be on the rotisserie.  Fill the humidifier or small pan with water and place over one of the lit burners.

Season the meat well on both sides with salt and pepper.  With the “bone side” facing up liberally slather the meat with the harissa paste and then sprinkle the garlic and herbs over the top.  Roll up the lamb from one of the shorter ends and secure with the butcher’s twine every inch.  Run the rotisserie spit through the roast and secure with the spit tines.  Fit the spit into the rotisserie attachment, turn on the motor, and close the grill cover.  Roast for about 60 to 90 minutes or until the meat registers around 115°F to 120°F.  If your grill has a rotisserie burner, flip it on low to medium at this time (otherwise just keep cooking) and continue cooking another 15 minutes or so until the internal temperature of the lamb is 135°F (medium-rare) or 145°F (medium). Remove from the rotisserie and transfer to a cutting board; cover with aluminum foil. Allow the lamb to rest for about 20 minutes.

For yogurt sauce: combine the sauce ingredients and keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. *TIP: to cream garlic, mince garlic and sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt.  Using the side of you chef’s knife, gently press and drag your knife over the garlic until it forms a paste.

Slice in 1/2 inch pieces and serve with flatbread, extra harissa and yogurt sauce.

Butterflied leg of lamb, harissa paste, garlic and herbs.

Butterflied leg of lamb, harissa paste, garlic and herbs.

Harissa lamb rolled and tied

Harissa lamb rolled and tied

Rotisserie set up

Rotisserie set up


<<make Homer Simpson sounds here>>


8 responses to “Spinnin’ Harissa Lamb on the Rotisserie

  1. Yum, yum, yum! I usually just grill the lamb flat when its butterflied, but now you’ve given me yet another great reason to roti! Try throwing some limes cut in half on the grill, then squeezing them over the lamb. It’s a great finish.

    • Thanks Anne! Most definitely with the lime. I’ve grilled lamb loin chops with just S&P and a paste made from garlic, mint and lime… your comment makes me want to revisit that! cheers –

  2. Love this recipe. I roasted it on the oven, low and slow. It’s still a bit cold here to using our grill but it turned out amazing. We used a store bought brand Mina Harissa. We’ll make this again when it gets warm out.

    • That’s awesome, Rob! Thanks for trying out the recipe. I hope it warms up soon. Lots of great grilling recipes to come!

      Cheers and Happy Grilling!

  3. Pingback: Accidental Locavore: Grilled Rotisserie Lamb With Harissa and Herbs·

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