Over the last couple of years, if I have had one go to meal for friends heading over or a Sunday roast, it has to have been butterflied lamb, bbq’ed and served with new potatoes and carrots.
I had been experimenting with bbq’ed lamb for a few years when I saw a recipe for butterflied lamb on the hungry ones. I tried it, and somehow first time it came out perfectly – always a good sign for a good recipe. Over the last couple of years I have altered it depending on what ingredients I could get hold of and how much thought I put into the meal. Anyway, with a few days of summer finally arriving, we decided to light up the bbq and have a meal outside.
Butterflied leg of lamb
(For the marinade:)
Olive oil, a few cloves of garlic, handful of either fresh or dried rosemary, lemon juice (a little cider vinegar in this case as I had no lemons), and salt and pepper.
Depending on how hands on I’m feeling, we were in a bit of a rush the other day, so I asked my local butcher to butterfly the lamb for me, but normally if I have the time I enjoy doing it myself. The first time I did, I was terrified of doing something wrong and making a mess of the meat. I have now learnt that every bit of meat is slightly different and just do what seems to make sense. Using a sharp but not too broad a blade, cut the thinest part of the flesh towards the bone and then keep cutting until the bone is removed. Then lay the meat flat on your board and try and make it as even as possible but cutting little slices into the thickest part to flatten it out.
(I usually throw the shank into the freezer to make into either stock or a stew at a later date.)
Next, throw the marinade ingredients together, adjusting according to taste. I used around 4 or 5 tbsp of olive oil with a splash of cider vinegar (lemon juice is preferable), and then three of four crushed cloves of garlic. Added to that were a few sprigs of roughly chopped rosemary leaves and a salt and pepper.
Using a large Le Creuset roasting dish (or any container big enough works), lay the lamb down and rub over half the marinade, flip it around and do the same with the other half. Cover with clingfilm and leave to stand for at least an hour. I have left it in the fridge overnight and if there is time I would recommend that.
Light up your bbq, and get it ready for indirect cooking at around 200C. (With the Big Joe, I have cooked indirectly both with the ceramic heat deflector plates and more recently, tried banking up the charcoal to one side.)
Once you’ve got your bbq lit, take the lamb and having run a few skewers through the meat and lay it skin side down on the grill (top level of the divide and conquer). I turn it after about 15 minutes and then check after a further 10 minutes with my thermapen digital thermometer, taking of out once it hits 48-52C. Now wrap in foil and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes.