Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Minted Butterflied Leg of Lamb

With the evenings getting longer and the sun shining (occasionally) it's time to pull out the BBQ for the summer season ahead. This recipe is a favourite of mine. Ask your butcher to butterfly the lamb for you, or you can do it yourself following the instructions given below. The Tuscan Panzanella salad is delicious on its own or as an accompaniment to the lamb.

Minted Butterflied Leg of Lamb

2.5kg leg of lamb
250ml dry white wine
3 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tbsps soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar

1. Prepare the leg of lamb - see steps below.
2. Remove any remaining skin or excess fat from the lamb and put it into a large freezer bag. Add the marinade ingredients, seal and put into a container in the fridge. Marinade for at least 3 hours, or, if you have time, leave to marinate for 24 hours - or 48 hours for an intense flavour.
3. Have your barbecue pre-heated prior to cooking.
4. Remove the meat from the marinade and wipe dry with kitchen paper. Use 4 long skewers to hold the meat flat in the ‘butterfly' position while it is cooking.
5. Place a drip tray under the grill. Place the skewered lamb on the grill and cook over hot coals for about 20 minutes on each side, covered if possible. Turn the meat from time to time and baste occasionally with the pan juices. The lamb is done when it is brown and charred on the outside, but still pink or rosy pink inside, according to taste. The total cooking time will be about 40 minutes, depending on taste.
6. Place the lamb on a board and leave to rest for about 10 minutes before serving, sprinkled with extra mint & parsley, if desired.

Butterflying Lamb

1. Turn the leg to the side where the bone is nearer the surface of the meat. Using a sturdy, sharp boning knife, run the blade along the bone, then cut or scrape the meat away from the bone on either side, in short sharp cuts.

2. When you have cut away as much as you can around the bone, begin cutting the meat around the knuckle, or ball and socket joint. Try to avoid cutting all the way through the meat. The bone should now come clean away. Trim the joint of any excess fat.

3. To even up the thickness of the joint, make deep cuts in any thick portions so that it lies flat and is of even thickness all over. The meat should roughly be the same thickness all over.