003/18 – Rotisseried Leg of Lamb:
In previous posts I have spoken of our love for traveling and trying new food so I have been trying to cook more dishes from our travels on the BBQ. Over the holidays I had a good read of The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen – Oh my goodness, it’s a dream book for me! It has over 500 recipes from all over the world!! I have so many recipes from the book on my list to cook this year – starting with Rotisseried Leg of Lamb.
As mentioned in the Pork Souvlaki post:
Greece is one of our favourite places to explore and we have been to over 20 islands. Some of the main things I remember from those islands is the wonderful food we ate in each place, very rarely having a bad meal. With that in mind a recipe for Greek style lamb on the rotisserie sounded awesome!
In a previous post, I discussed the whole Shetland lamb I bought from Richard Briggs. I had a leg of lamb earmarked for this cook:
The Shetland lamb is a great quality product with a unique taste so I had been looking for recipes that would compliment that taste rather than overwhelm it and this recipe looked ideal.
The recipe calls for a butterflied leg of lamb but mine was whole and still had the bone in. Not a problem as I had de-boned and butterflied a leg of lamb on a previous cook:
However, as I started looking at the meat I was a bit confused. It didn’t quite look as I expected! I quickly worked out the joint still had the aitch bone in. Having removed one of these on the goat leg I knew they were an odd shape and pretty tricky to remove but I had some new knives from Nisbets and set about it. The aitch bone was out in no time and I managed to remove the leg bone as well.
Scott Rea has a great video which I used to work out how to do this:
With the meat de-boned and butterflied I mixed Maldon sea salt with ground pepper and Greek oregano. I thought we still had some Greek oregano but it was all gone, I bought some from Amazon – the smell of it was fantastic, took me back to Greece in an instant!
I opened up the lamb and spread 1/3 of the salt/pepper/oregano mixture over the meat then squeezed the juice of half a lemon on top and rubbed 3 tablespoons of butter into the meat. The lemon half was then chopped into 4 and placed in the meat before I rolled the meat back into it’s original shape and attempted to do some butcher style knots to hold it all together!
The meat was put in a tray and covered with clingfilm then left in the fridge for 6 hours. Whilst it was marinading I made a basting mixture with rapeseed oil, lemon juice, white wine, garlic, Greek oregano and black pepper.
After the meat had sat for 6 hours I slotted the rotisserie bar through the meat. The Shetland lamb is smaller than most breeds so the prongs were outside the meat but it all felt stable. I rubbed another half of lemon juice over the meat followed by another 3 tablespoons of butter before sprinkling more of the salt, pepper, oregano mix on top.
As with most of my lamb cooks I fired up a full chimney of Oxford Charcoal Birch Lumpwood. It works so well with lamb that I try to use it every time. Once fully lit I poured it into the charcoal baskets set to each side of the grill and placed some grape vine chunks on top from Smokewood Shack. As always with the rotisserie, I place the chunks as far away from the meat as possible because they can flare up and burn the meat.
I wanted some side dishes to go with the lamb and found this recipe for Greek style potatoes. In a bowl I mixed rapeseed oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, bouillon cubes and pepper. I peeled and quatered 6 potatoes, put them in a roasting dish then poured the mix on top. The dish was placed underneath the lamb so the lamb fat and marinade would drip onto the potatoes whilst it cooked. The recipe said to cover the potatoes as they cooked but I wanted to try it uncovered.
I went back to the lamb every 15 minutes and brushed the marinade mixture on along with a bit of the salt, pepper, oregano mix. It was smelling so good!
The lamb was looking good, smelling great and the potatoes were coming on well.
Towards the hour mark I topped up the charcoal with more birch lumps and added another chunk of grapevine wood.
The recipe says to take the meat to medium well (65c) and it should take 1 to 1.5 hours. At 75 minutes I could see the meat was just passing 60c in most places using my Thermapen.
After 85 minutes it was at 65c in most places so I took it off to rest.
Time to Eat:
Only a short rest of about 10 minutes then I sliced it. The meat was so juicy, I haven’t seen lamb as juicy as this!
It was so easy to slice and the sneaky tastes I had whilst slicing blew me away!
At this point I took the potatoes out. They also looked and smelt fantastic!
Plated up, they looked like some cracking roast potatoes!
My wife had made Greek style green beans as another side dish, the recipe is here:
This was such a great meal and the whole family thoroughly enjoyed it. Both of my kids had clean plates and my youngest ate more lamb than everyone else! Quite a simple dish to prepare and easy to cook but the end result was fantastic. A really good combination of top quality meat, a great recipe, the ever awesome rotisserie and top quality charcoal. Only my 3rd cook of 2018 but this one will go down as a favourite already, with the potatoes it’s a brilliant meal.
I usually cook lamb a bit pinker and I kept thinking, next time I might take it off earlier but I am not sure it needs to come off earlier. It was so soft, so juicy and so full of flavour I think medium well is right for this dish.
If you buy the lamb de-boned and butterflied or if you have done that yourself before it’s an easy cook. If you are buying the meat on the bone it’s a bit harder but the Scott Rea video I posted will help you through the process and once you do it the first time it’s easier every time after that!
|2/5 (if lamb de-boned and butterflied for you!) maybe 3/5 if not.
|Oxford Charcoal Birch
|Smokewood Shack grapevine
|85 minutes and a 10 minute rest
|Cook this again!
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