Lamb is a favourite to cook on the barbecue and I know we’ll be doing that a lot over the summer. I either slowly cook it in a foil oven dish on a low heat for 4-5 hours until its falling apart or cook it reasonably quickly straight on the grill for about an hour so the meat is pink. For this recipe I used half a butterflied leg of lamb and this was enough for 3-4 people. I did think ahead and marinated the lamb for about 24 hours before cooking. I’m sure it helped the flavour.
½ butterflied leg of lamb
Sprigs of fresh rosemary, stalks stripped and leaves chopped
Sprigs of fresh thyme
Zest and rind of 1 orange
Zest and rind of 1 lemon
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
100ml olive oil
1 tbsp sumac
Good pinch of chilli flakes
10-15 whole juniper berries, slightly crushed
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
In a dish just large enough to hold the lamb, mix together all the ingredients apart from the lamb. Rub this marinade all over the lamb and place it in the dish. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Turn it once or twice in that time. If you don’t have that much time leave the lamb to marinate for at least an hour.
Take the lamb out of the fridge about an hour before you plan to cook it. Heat a lidded barbecue to about 200ºC. Place the lamb, fat side down, on the grill. Don’t worry it will probably flame up a bit. Close the lid and turn down the heat a little.
Cook for about 15 minutes and then pour a little of the remaining marinade onto the lamb. After 30 minutes turn the lamb over and pour on most off the remaining marinade and place a few large sprigs of rosemary on the grill around the lamb.
Cook for another 20-25 minutes depending on how you like your lamb. Just before taking it out pour over the rest of the marinade.
Once done to your liking take out the lamb, cover it with foil and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
I like to serve the lamb with one or two simple salads. One’s usually rocket and the other using a grain such as farro, pearl barley, bulgar wheat or a 3 rice mix. The farro salad below doesn’t have many ingredients but the main ones – peas and mint – work really well with lamb. You’ll find the recipe for the pickled oranges in the Recipe section on our website in the Jams and Chutneys section under Pickles. There’s no need to be precise with quantities here.
Farro, Pea and Mint Salad
Cooked farro or other whole grain
A few cooked edamame beans (optional)
1 preserved lemon, flesh discarded, rind chopped
4-5 slices pickled orange, chopped
Plenty of fresh mint leaves and some parsley, finely chopped
Dressing – whisk together:
120ml olive oil
1 tbsp each sherry vinegar, shallot red wine vinegar or red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp sumac
Good pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Once the farro is cooked and still warm, dress with at least half the dressing. Add the peas, edamame, preserved lemon, pickled orange and the mint. Mix in the rest of the dressing.