Spice up your next dinner party with a mouth-watering leg of lamb, infused with a hint of anchovy for a flavorful twist. The succulent meat is marinated in a blend of garlic, herbs, and rosé, creating a rich infusion that will leave your taste buds dancing. But wait, it doesn’t end there. Top it off with a fresh walnut salsa fresca, drawing out the marinade’s natural flavors and offering a final touch of deliciousness. This dish is sure to impress your guests and have them begging for the recipe.

Active Time: 1 hrs 45 mins / Marinate Time: 8 hrs

Total Time:12 hrs/ Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Marinades soften meat’s muscle tissue, penetrating the interior and delivering an added layer of flavor. While marinades can be made with any acidic liquid, wine is a particularly good one; in addition to acidity, wine adds complex flavor to the finished dish. Bringing the wine to a boil helps cook off some of its alcohol and concentrates its fruitiness and acidity.

In this recipe, a rosé-based marinade carries garlic, rosemary, and its own fruity flavors deep into the meat, while anchovies, which stud the surface of the leg of lamb, melt into the meat it cooks on the grill. The oily, nutty Walnut Salsa Fresca, made with fresh lemon zest, rosemary, and anchovy fillets packed in oil, brings a welcome dose of fat and richness that mirrors the seasoning in the marinade.

Pair the lamb with a Provençal rosé to complement the vibrant, fruit-forward flavors of the dish.­


Grilled Lamb

  • 1 cup rosé wine (such as Commanderie de Peyrassol Cuvée des Commandeurs)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh rosemary leaves (about 1 ounce) (from 2 bunches), plus rosemary sprigs, for garnish
  • 2 garlic heads, cloves separated and peeled (about 3/4 cup)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 (5- to 6-pound) bone-in leg of lamb with shank attached
  • 1 (2-ounce) can of anchovy fillets in oil (such as Cento), drained

Walnut Salsa Fresca

  • 2 cups walnuts, toasted and finely chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 (2-ounce) can of anchovy fillets in oil (such as Cento), drained and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Make the grilled lamb:

  1. Bring wine to a boil in a small saucepan over high. Boil, undisturbed, until flavors are concentrated, most of the alcohol has cooked off, and liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from heat; add salt, and stir until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature, for about 30 minutes.
  2. Combine the cooled wine mixture, rosemary leaves, garlic, oil, and pepper in a blender. Process until a thick paste form, about 1 minute. Set aside. Using a sharp paring knife, puncture the lamb leg every 11/2 to 2 inches, creating about 1-inch-deep slits (about 1/2 inch wide). Tear anchovies into small pieces (halves or thirds), and stuff them into lamb slits. Smear lamb exterior with rosé mixture, rubbing it into the slits. Wrap lamb tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  3. Uncover the lamb, and let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour. Preheat your grill (charcoal or wood) to maintain an internal temperature of 400°F. Place lamb, fat side up, on oiled grates over the side with heat. Grill, uncovered, turning occasionally until lamb is charred with a deep brown crust on all sides, about 15 minutes. A flare-up might occur from the fat rendering; if so, close the lid, or transfer the lamb to the side of the grill without coals until the flare-up goes down, and then uncover, or transfer the lamb back to the grates over the coals.
  4. Transfer lamb, fat side up, to the side of the grill without coals. Insert a leave-in thermometer in the thickest portion of lamb. Grill, covered, adjusting vents as needed to maintain internal grill temperature of 400°F, until leave-in thermometer in lamb registers 115°F to 120°F for medium-rare, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes, rotating lamb 90 degrees on grates every 30 minutes (being mindful of the thermometer probe). Transfer the lamb to a cutting board. Loosely tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the walnut salsa fresca:

  1. Stir together walnuts, anchovies, lemon zest, chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add oil, and stir to combine. Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.
  2. Hold the lamb shank in one hand while you cut the meat away from the bone in large slices, rotating the leg as needed. Arrange lamb slices, crust side up, on a platter. Garnish grilled lamb with rosemary sprigs, and serve with walnut salsa fresca.

I hope you’ll give it a shot and make this unique recipe! It’s so well worth it! And if you need good quality pasture-raised leg of lamb, click on the button below and get your stunning culinary masterpiece!

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