This easy grilled lamb dish is my favorite recipe from The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. In the book, it’s listed by its French name, Agneau grillé mariné aux olives, artichauts et tomates.
High quality olives make all the difference in this dish, so don’t skimp. Go to a deli and get a glistening Mediterranean mix, or pick up this great mix from Trader Joe’s.
Key to grilling: Butterfly the Leg
A butterflied leg is simply one with the bone remove and slit open like a book. This makes for an easy grilled lamb main with lots of flavor. With the bone removed, you can lay it flat on the grill and maneuver it as needed. Supermarket butchers will sometimes butterfly a leg if you ask nicely, while any full service butcher will do it and be sure to give you the bone. If you’ve got a sharp knife and the confidence, it’s not hard to do yourself and takes about 15 minutes. BBC Good Food has a good video primer. I add the bone into with the beans for extra flavor.
Ideally, the lamb should marinate overnight in the refrigerator and be brought back to room temperature before grilling. If you don’t have that kind of time, marinate for at least a couple of hours. I utilize this same recipe for steaks cut from a lamb leg when serving just two or three people. White northern and Cannelloni beans work well. I use a mix of fresh rosemary and thyme for the herb mix in the marinade.
Instant Pot the White Beans
I start the beans from dried, something I strongly recommend. (I’m a fan of Bob’s Red Mill Cannelloni beans.) These days, I use my Instant Pot to cook dried beans in my Instant Pot as they’re cooked in less than an hour and no soaking is required. You’ll find instruction on how to cook dried white beans in your Instant Pot at the bottom of the recipe below. No Instant Pot? Saute the initial ingredients as directed and allow it to cook for about two hours, adding water if needed to keep the beans moist.
Easy Grilled Lamb with Rosemary & Olives and Instant Pot White Beans
- Electric pressure cooker
Lamb and marinade
- 4 ½ to 6 pounds (2 to 2.5 kgs) boneless leg of lamb butterflied
- ¾ cup (80 g) high quality olives, pitted
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 cup mixed fresh herbs chopped
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic peeled, smashed
- Juice of two lemons
- 4 ounces 125 g salt pork or thick cut bacon, cubed
- 1 medium onion chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium carrots chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 pound (500 g) dry white beans
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped or 1 tablespoon dry
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 14 oz can chopped, seeded tomatoes
- 2 16 oz cans artichokes hearts, drained
- 2 quarts (2 liters) chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Hot sauce such as Tabasco
Marinade the lamb
- Combine the ingredients in a small food processor. Blend until the olives and garlic are minced, and the mixture emulsifies. Slather on the lamb, and set into a non-reactive bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Marinate at least two hours or overnight.
- Make the beans
- Start the beans in a 6 qt. electric pressure cooker by sauteing the salt pork or bacon slowly over low heat until browned. Add the onion and carrots until softened. Add the beans, rosemary sprig, bay leaf, thyme, garlic, tomatoes, artichokes and enough chicken stock to cover the beans by about three inches. Secure the top and set to Manual for 28 minutes, allowing 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build. Allow the pressure to release naturally according to your manufacturer's instruction, about 10 to 30 minutes.
Grill the lamb
- Discard marinade, pat the meat dry with paper towels. If grilling a whole leg, start cooking the fat side down, about 15 to 20 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer reaches 125°F/ 51°C degrees for medium rare. Let lamb rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Finish the beans
- Finish beans with butter, salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Remove rosemary sprig, bay leaves, stir in chopped parsley. Serve with sliced lamb.
Please note this page may contain affiliate links. Originally published in 2009, updated in 2021.