After enjoying such a pleasant English summer, the weather’s suddenly turned on us. And in August, just when you’re expecting the best of it, and plenty of barbecue time. Anyway, not to be deterred by something as uncontrollable as the weather I had in mind to barbecue a butterflied shoulder of lamb. So I did! And having a gas barbecue means you can dash out and get started as soon as the skies clear, even if it’s not for very long. Don’t worry I’m sure summer’s not completely deserted us just yet, there will plenty of chances for you to try out this recipe.
This lamb is packed with flavours and beautifully tender. As it’s quite rich I kept the accompaniments simple and these three dishes simply went together perfectly. Butterflying it makes it easy to marinate (and ensures it soaks up all the flavours) and quicker to cook. Luckily I have a great butcher who can do all this stuff on demand, I’d recommend you try it. Lamb doesn’t taste better than this! Enjoy the mouth-watering pictures.
Butterflied, marinated shoulder of lamb
Marinated overnight, barbecued and left to rest, the meat is melt-in-the-mouth and packed with lovely spicy flavours.
1 shoulder of lamb, butterflied, about 1.5kg
For the marinade
Juice of 3 lemons
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried harissa
50ml olive oil
Mix together all the marinade ingredients. Place the lamb in a large tray and pour the marinade over. Rub it thoroughly all over the lamb, cover and leave to marinate overnight. Turn it over a few times and give it a bit of a massage to ensure the flavours sink in. Take out of the fridge about half an hour before cooking.
Place on a medium heat barbecue and cook for about an hour, turning a couple of times. The juices should still run pink.
Cover with foil and allow to rest for about 15 minutes. Slice and serve.
Colourful chopped salad
I love the idea of a chopped salad, with everything chopped into similar size pieces for ease of eating. And if you choose different coloured ingredients it will look beautiful, too.
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 orange pepper, deseeded and chopped
Half a cucumber, chopped
8 radishes, quartered
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
A handful of mint leaves
For the dressing
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
Juice of 2 lemons
50ml olive oil
A handful of parsley
Put all the dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over the salad.
Cumin roast potatoes
Quantities are kind of irrelevant for these potatoes. I’ve found that however many I make, they get eaten. So for the sake of your waistline (and your guests’) try to keep them moderate
10 medium-size potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsps cumin seeds
Put the potato quarters into a roasting pan and pour over the olive oil. Mix the potatoes in the oil until well covered.
Sprinkle with the cumin seeds.
Roast for about an hour at 180C until brown and crunchy.
To find out more about where to buy this barbecue or similar, visit the Birstall website. It’s also really handy as you can order gas refills from them online, so no need to trek across town, and they arrive really quickly. www.birstall.co.uk