With warmer weather we can think about outdoor food
Last updated at 20:30, Thursday, 10 May 2012
This week, as our thoughts begin to hope for al fresco dining we bring you a dish great for entertaining guests that is cooked on the barbecue.
It utilises the best spring lamb but in actual fact, the marinade in this recipe actually works equally well with other red meats, poultry or indeed fish. Serves six.
For this you need 2.5kg good-quality leg of lamb, butterflied. You can ask your butcher to do this for you. Or if you are buying at a supermarket counter they should be able to do the same. It is perfectly possible to do it on your own though. To ‘butterfly’ a leg of lamb, first cut it open to expose the bone. Carefully trim around the bone to release it; remove the bone.
Now you want to open out the meat so that it lays flat. Trim the thicker parts of the meat by making small slashes to open them out so you are left with an even layer of meat around 5 cm thick. It is said to resemble the shape of a butterfly’s wings, which gives it the descriptive name.
For the marinade
6 tbsp olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tblsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
6 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns
Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large shallow dish. Add the lamb and rub the marinade into it with your hands to coat well. Cover and marinate at room temperature for one hour, or chill and marinate for up to 24 hours.
If using a charcoal barbecue, light about 30 minutes before you want to cook so the coals are just glowing. For a gas barbecue, preheat 10 minutes beforehand.
Lift the lamb out of the dish; let any excess oily marinade drain away.
Lay the meat on the barbecue. Cook over a direct high heat for 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally and moving away from any flare-ups that will burn the meat, until well-coloured but still pink and juicy in the middle.
Test by making a cut in the thickest part of the meat and check if it is cooked to your liking. Cook for longer if necessary to your taste.
Transfer the lamb to a board, cover and rest for five minutes. Carve into thick slices and serve with beautiful salads (perhaps a Greek salad with halloumi cheese would be nice?) and crusty bread.
First published at 19:24, Thursday, 10 May 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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