Tuesday 5 May 2009

Barbequed Shoulder of Lamb

It's not ofen that I cook a great big hunk of meat on the barbeque. I'm usually too taken by the idea of burgers, sausages, ribs and kebabs to want to devote a whole barbeque to just one plateful. However, this weekend I had the opportunity to have two barbeques. The first was at a friend's house, whereby we filled the sausages / kebabs / ribs quota, and the second was the perfect opportunity.

I was feeling rather glum on bank holiday Monday. The grey skies and blustering wind did nothing to help my mood so this was the perfect slap-it-on-and-leave-it kind of technique. With the aide of a friend who expertly built up a pyramid of briquettes (and by that I mean applying the lighting gel liberally), we soon had some nicely whitened coals to be cooking this whole shoulder of lamb over.

As lamb is quite a fatty cut of meat, it's important to babysit it for the first part of the recipe. The dripping fat causes the flames to flare up and if you're not careful you could have a rather more charred piece of meat than you'd like. This method of cooking the lamb imparts a wonderfully smoky flavour to the meat. Next time I'd like to try it with wood chippings, but the coal worked well too. It does take a while to prepare, but once it's done you will be well rewarded for your efforts - lightly spiced, tende meat with a deep smokiness.

Barbequed Shoulder of Lamb

Serves 5 generously

1 whole shoulder of lamb (ours was 1.6kg)

6 cloves of garlic

4 anchovy fillets

A few sprigs of thyme

1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika

1 aubergine, sliced and oiled

1 kettle barbeque

Plenty of coal

Lighting fluid

Build up plenty of coal in the base of the barbeque, applying lighting gel as you go along. You'll need a lot, as it'll be going for a good three hours or more. Trim the shoulder of any excess fat and cut slits into the flesh. Stuff with garlic, chopped anchovy and thyme. Rub with the paprika.

Light the bbq and then the coals are white, place the shoulder carefully on the heat. Carefully lay the slices of aubergine around it so that they grill, and turn overafter about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. If the coals flare up move the meat around so you don't get any burning. We had some proper flames but it didn't get burnt much, but do keep an eye on it. When you've got a nice colour on the lamb and the coals have cooled down a bit, put the lid on the barbeque with the vent open and cook for 3 hours. Turn the meat over every hour or so.

To serve, rest the meat for 20 mins and carve into chunks. I served it with some tzatziki, shredded little gem lettuce and sliced red onion all rolled up in a flatbread.


Anne said...

looks delicous, bet its gorgeous bbqued!

Dan said...

That looks so good. I'm also amazed by a girl imparting advanced BBQ tips. I'm not being sexist, but I've never see a girl so much as turn over an errant burger - let alone impart slow BBQ'ing techniques with vent opening action. I'm gobsmacked.

goodshoeday said...

Barbeque (or chargrilled if its raining) lamb is great - I usually do boned leg which is much faster than this but might try this next time as an alternative. Looks very tasty.

Unknown said...

Rick Stein has a bbq'd butterflied leg of lamb in one of his books. It's marinated in things like chili, lemon etc. to start and is amazing.

Helen said...

I may have had charred ribs but my recent saddle of lamb was a total success! I moved the coals into the sides so the heat moves around in a circular motion inside. Nom nom nom. I love cooking big beasty joints on the BBQ. Oh the smoky heaven.

Charlie McVeigh said...

Looks great. We had pork belly with fennel seed marinade on the BBQ this weekend. Was delicious.

Hollow Legs said...

Dan - Clearly you're hanging out with the wrong kind of girls.

Helen - We shifted the coals to the sides but found the temparature dropped too much so we had to shove 'em all back!

Anonymous said...

That looks incredible, barbecued lamb is my absolute favourite. The combination of juicy insides and charred outsides works so well with a fattier cut like lamb leg too.

Unknown said...

Lizzie I think you should change the name of this blog to Lizzie's Meat Blog (I was almost going to suggest Lizzie loves Meat but that sounded a little rude). Sounds fabulous!

Ollie said...

Looks stunning Lizzie, as ever. And flatbread is a perfectly outdoorsy way of serving it.

Anonymous said...

Looks fabulous, Lizzie! Good job.


beach houses said...

perfectly good.. i love it.. cant wait to taste a food as delicious as this one..