Butterflied lamb

This happens to be one of my favourite dishes: beautifully tender lamb, butterflied, slightly pink, infused with mouthwatering garlic and rosemary together with a crisp outer skin. I can’t think of many dishes that smell better too – a winner in every way!

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The first dish I ever cooked on the Big Joe was butterflied lamb. It was also the first recipe I cooked on this blog. I didn’t get many photos previously so I decided to give the dish another go (my father-in-law was also coming up and lamb happens to be his favourite).

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It’s a pretty similar recipe with only a couple of changes; both work but this definitely produced better results. Let me know what you think?

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Recipe:

Ingredients:

leg of lamb

for the marinade:

4 tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

handful fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tsp lemon juice (I’ve used cyder vinegar in the past)

salt

pepper

Method:

If you don’t want to, ask your butcher to butterfly the leg of lamb for you. But if you’re feeling adventurous then give it a go yourself – it’s not too hard and doing it yourself makes it so much more satisfying!

  • with a sharp but not too broad blade, cut the thinest part of the flesh towards the bone.butterflied-lamb-on-the-big-joe-4-www-butterwouldntmelt-com
  • keep cutting until the bone is removed, running your knife along and around the bone to free it up.butterflied-lamb-on-the-big-joe-5-www-butterwouldntmelt-com
  • every bit of meat is different so just take your time and make small cuts – it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfectly clean!
  • finally open your leg out, laying the meat flat on your surface. You are looking for as even a thickness as possible; if you have a really chunky section then cut an incision a little way into the meat half way through and open it up like a book again. If it’s only a little thicker cut little slices at regular intervals.
  • don’t waste the leftover shank – throw it into your freezer to make into stew later on.

Next, mix all the marinade ingredients together with plenty of seasoning.

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Rub half into one side of the meat then flip it over and do the same with the other half.

Place into a large tray and cover with clingfilm before leaving to stand in the fridge for at least 2 hours (prepare the night before if you’re planning to cook it for lunch).

Light up your bbq and set it up for a direct cook between 180 – 200C, with the grill on the highest setting. I used a 3/4 load of charcoal, top vent closed with the daisy wheel fully open and the bottom vent 1/4-1/3 open.

While your bbq is coming up to temperature, take the lamb out of the fridge to warm to room temperature.

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When you are ready to cook, run a couple of skewers through the meat – keeps it from curling during the cook and makes it much easier to handle.

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Lay your meat on the grill over the coals.

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In this cook I had the Joe set up for both indirect and direct heat as I had some leeks on the side.

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After 10-15 minutes flip it over.

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After a further 10 minutes check the internal temperature, it is ready when the reading is 54.5C (I tend to serve lamb a little pink, but this is a great guide to internal temperatures). 

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Take it off the grill and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes before thinly slicing to serve.

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I served it with a roasted leek, pancetta and crouton side!

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A few more shots from the cook:

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