Persian butterflied leg of lamb

My favourite marinade for this barbecued lamb is a Persian mix of yoghurt, chilli, mint and lemon.  Also delicious is a combination of rosemary, garlic, olive oil and lemon; or go for a Moroccan flavour, with ground cumin and cinnamon, crushed coriander seeds, olive oil, garlic and paprika.  Try Thai-flavoured lamb, with coconut milk and green or red curry paste; or Indian, with fresh grated ginger, turmeric, cumin and garam masala.  Try them one by one throughout the summer.  Simple, excellent and delicious!

For 8

  • 1 x 2 kg leg of lamb, boned and butterflied

For the marinade

  • Small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • Juice and grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 250ml natural yoghurt
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl large enough to hold the joint.  Slash the fleshy side of the lamb with shallow cuts, them smother it with the marinade.  Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C, gas mark 6.

Place the joint in a roasting tin and put in the oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the barbecue until you can’t count to 10 with your hand hovering just above it.  Transfer the joint to the hot barbecue (ideally with the lid closed) and cook for a further 15 minutes on each side. (You can do the whole cooking process in the oven if you want, lowering the temperature to 170 degrees C/ gas mark 3 after 20 minutes, and cooking for a further 30 minutes.) Rest the lamb for 10-15 minutes before carving.  Enjoy!

(Courtesy of Sarah Raven – Food for Family & Friends)

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