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It’s no secret, you know by now we adore lamb and it’s probably the most regular protein you’ll find in our recipes on our website because we just adore how versatile it is and how tasty and adaptable lamb can be. We’ve teamed up with Bord Bia to demonstrate how to deliciously celebrate lamb this summer with this recipe.
We think barbecuing has a place year-round, but really in summer it comes into its own and almost every day we’re finding an excuse to fire up the charcoal and get grilling. We particularly love vegetables on the barbecue and lamb’s unique flavour kissed by a bit of a smoke is truly sensational –– here we’re using Bord Bia Quality Mark Irish Lamb, which is important as this signifies that the lamb has been produced in Ireland (rather than imported) and you can trust it has achieved the highest Bord Bia Quality standards through regular, rigorous checks, independent tests and verification throughout the process of getting to you, the home cook.
The cut of lamb here is important, you may think ‘leg of lamb’ and feel you’re limited to just oven-roasting it on the bone with all the trimmings, but but asking your butcher to remove from the bone and ‘butterfly’ you have a whole new scope of options, and it’s an affordable cut that can feed four very comfortably. This recipe is quick and full of flavour, plus you can play around with the marinade and what you serve the lamb with, we’ve opted to keep it super simple with a slight Middle Eastern flavour with some smashed aubergine, flatbreads and cous cous but you can really make this your own –– the lamb will always be the star! For more recipe information, visit bordbia.ie/lamb or search for lamb recipes in the Bord Bia Recipe Hub.
Herby Barbecued Butterflied Leg of Lamb
- 800g-1kg butterflied leg of lamb, fat trimmed and skinless
- 5 cloves of garlic, grated
- zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
- 2 red chillies, tiny sliced
- 1.5 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1.5 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1.5 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 120 ml olive oil
- Salt & black pepper
- The day before you plan to cook the lamb, prepare it and get it into the marinade. Make sure your lamb is trimmed of any excess fat. Start by grating four of the cloves of garlic into a bowl, followed by the lemon, chilli, herbs and stir in the oil. Then pour it all over the boneless leg of lamb. Cover with cling and leave in the fridge overnight to marinate.
- When the time comes to cook, remove the marinated lamb from the fridge for 30 minutes, still covered, to bring to room temperature. Light your barbecue, and set it up for indirect cooking. This essentially means if you are using charcoal, your coals are off centre, in the the grate. You’d have a space directly above the coals for direct cooking, and the space opposite for indirect. You are aiming for a temperature range of between 140ºC and 160ºC, so a good regulation of the airflow is required. If using another type of grill, keep an eye on the temperature to get it within this range.
- Place the lamb into the barbecue, and cook for about an hour on indirect heat, turning frequently. You will be aiming for an internal temperature of about 54-56ºC for medium rare, or 60ºC for medium. Cook it a few degrees below your target and try to use a thermometer.
- Then when you feel the temperature has been reached, move the meat to over the coals to crisp up the exterior, turning very frequently.
- Remove to a plate and grate the fifth clove of garlic on top and rub into the surface. Cover with foil and leave to rest for about 10-15 minutes.
- Thinly slice the lamb and season with sea salt and some chopped coriander. Enjoy alongside flatbreads, cous cous, fresh salad or some smoky baba ghanoush.
Additional recipe: Smoky Baba Ghanoush
- 1-2 aubergines, skin slicked in a little oil
- 1 clove of garlic, finely grated
- 2 heaped tbsp of runny tahini
- 1 unwaxed lemon, zest and juice
- Fine salt
- Chopped coriander (optional)
- When your lumpwood charcoal coals are white hot you’re good to go –– place the full aubergine(s) (lightly oiled on the skin) directly on the coals (which is known as cooking dirty) and cooking until the aubergine almost collapses into itself and is completely soft.
- Remove to a mixing bowl and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes, then – when still warm – shred the flesh (you can use the skin and all, but if there’s any residual ash on the skin just brush it off with a clean pastry brush). Stir through the garlic, lemon juice and zest, tahini and chopped coriander, then season with salt to taste. A drizzle of smoked oil to finish and a few extra leaves of coriander are welcome –– you can also do the aubergine process in the oven too, however it won’t have that signature smoky flavour the barbecue affords.