It's worth having a butcher do the butterflying and trimming of the lamb. Spanish paprika will give you the best flavor: Its smokiness goes especially nicely with grilled food. Second choice is Hungarian paprika, which has more fullness than plain paprika.
- 2 tablespoons paprika, preferably Spanish
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 teaspoon chipotle-flavored hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco brand
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon (zest and juice)
- 1 (128 ounces) leg of lamb, boned, butterflied and trimmed of all visible fat (yields about 4 pounds)
In a small food processor, blend all ingredients except the lamb until smooth. Use the tip of a sharp knife to score the lamb on both sides with light hatch marks about 1/2-inch apart. Spread the mixture on both sides of the meat and rub it in. Place the lamb in a large serving dish and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour, but no more than 2 hours.
If using a gas grill, preheat to high, depending on your grill. If using a charcoal grill, distribute the hot charcoal or wood briquettes evenly under the cooking area for direct heat.
When ready to grill, blot the meat on both sides with paper towels. Coat the meat generously on both sides with nonstick spray oil. Grill the lamb for 8 to 10 minutes on each side for medium-rare (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part should register 125 degrees). When the meat is done, place it in a large baking dish, cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. To serve, slice the meat thinly against the grain and pour any accumulated cooking juices over it.
Adapted from chef and former restaurateur David Hagedorn.
Tested by Michael Taylor.
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