When a special occasion arises, I love that lots of people flood my house and I have an excuse to make an excessively large cut of meat, like leg of lamb. But I want that cut more often! Why should I wait for Easter to serve leg? So a couple of months ago, we worked with local chefs and our butcher to split the leg into smaller, more everyday use pieces. Part of this is the top round, an extremely tender piece from the leg that doesn’t require much cooking time. This makes for a great cut of meat, because you can produce an elegant dinner without investing a day braising or roasting your meal.

As the temperature continues to drop, I knew this might be one of my final opportunities to use the grill before it becomes snowed in. I landed on a recipe from July 2008’s Gourmet and decided to try it out. Guess what? It was delicious.

  • 1 top round of lamb (one of the cuts in the petite lamb roast)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

Butterfly the top round horizontally so that it opens up like a book (don’t slice it all of the way through). Pierce the meat in several places so the marinade is able to penetrate the cut.DSC00460

Mix together yogurt, cumin, coriander and black pepper (if you have a spice grinder and whole spices, use those instead). Mince garlic with salt and add to the mixture. Rub this paste all over the lamb and let rest for about an hour.

Heat up your grill. You will want to create a space for hot direct heat and cooler indirect heat, so arrange your charcoal or burners accordingly.

With the grill cover on, sear lamb until well browned. Then transfer meat to indirect heat source for several minutes more. Remove lamb from grill when the internal temperature has reached about 135 degrees, depending on how rare you prefer your meat. Let rest while covered with foil for ten minutes and serve.


I served this with quinoa, roasted cauliflower and a yogurt sauce, using that same Greek yogurt, plus about 1/2 a teaspoon each of coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and cumin. We could clearly taste the marinade in the lamb on its own, so this sauce worked better to spice up the quinoa, rather than directly served with the lamb.