In Owensboro, Kentucky, barbecue means mutton. It's slow-cooked over a smoky hickory fire in an old-fashioned pit, just the way the Bosley family been doing it since 1963 at the legendary Moonlite Bar-B-Que Inn. The Moonlite serves 10 tons of mutton a week, and one reason the meat's so popular is the basting sauce, a potent mixture of Worcestershire, vinegar and lemon juice. Since mutton is hard to find. I've retooled the recipe for boneless leg of lamb. More Amazing Lamb Recipes

June 2000


Credit: © Amy Neunsinger

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4 To 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Soak the hickory chips in cold water for 1 hour. In a medium saucepan, combine the 3/4 cup of water, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and stir just until the salt dissolves. Remove the sauce from the heat.

  • Light a grill. Lightly brush the grate with oil. Drain the hickory chips and scatter them on the hot coals. If using a gas grill, place the chips in a 12-inch square of foil;fold the foil into a 6-inch square and poke 12 holes in the top. Place the package near the flames and let heat until smoking.

  • Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Grill the lamb, boned side up, over moderate heat, covered, for 10 minutes. Generously brush the lamb with sauce and cook, covered, basting frequently, and turning the meat to avoid burning, for about 45 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the lamb registers 125° for medium rare or 140° for medium.

  • Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Thinly slice the lamb on the diagonal; transfer to a platter. Pour any accumulated juices on top and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Round out the saltiness and smokiness of the lamb with an intense and spicy Australian Shiraz or Shiraz blend.