Recipes and ideas for summer barbecues: Part four

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.

Serves 6

The cooked lamb rests before carving
The cooked lamb rests before carving

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.

The lamb sizzles on the barbecue

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.

Serves 6

The fresh flavours of this vibrant salad go beautifully with the richness of the lamb

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

Serves 6

It’s hard to stop eating this crisp, cumin-flavoured potatoes

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.

The sun is out...time to barbecue in the garden
My elegant little barbecue has been busy this summer

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.




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