A work colleague recently roadtested one of those ridiculous ‘Get a Flat Tummy by Tea-Time’ diets and constantly moaned about the huge amounts of meat she had to eat, including poached chicken breast for breakfast. Needless to say, I won’t be following her example. We don’t go in much for huge slabs of meat in this house, certainly not on a nightly or even weekly basis. Does anyone, apart from the Boy Wonder’s parents or people on odd diets, actually eat like that any more?
Having said that, I regularly buy a very big slab of meat – a whole hindquarter of lamb, to be precise – when we’ve got people coming over. My sister-in-law taught me how to make this and meat-eaters always love it. I love it too, not least because it’s possibly the easiest way to feed a group of people with minimal fuss. It’s actually very economical too. The only hard bit is remembering that you have to marinate it two days before cooking. So, I’m giving you the recipe today so you can get to the butcher tomorrow, then have people over for dinner on Saturday.
Jenny’s Butterflied Barbecue Lamb
This is so, so easy. All you have to do is stick rigidly to the instructions below and you will end up with perfectly cooked lamb. The varying thickness of the joint means that some bits will be well done, others delectably pink. As a result, you can offer your guests lamb to suit their preference. An average leg will feed at least six. Leftovers are great the next day (we freeze them and make pretend souvlaki for instant dinners). All you need to go with this are some potatoes and a big green salad. Salsa verde or tzatziki are also great accompaniments and make it feel mildly Med instead of middle NZ.
1 hind quarter of lamb (New Zealand, of course), butterflied – a butcher will do this for you in a flash (and give you the bones to use for soup)
3Tbsp olive oil
3Tbsp soy sauce
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 birds eye chillies, finely chopped (include the seeds)
2Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup malt vinegar
Mix the oil, soy sauce, garlic, chillies, brown sugar and vinegar together, then pour over the lamb (in a large, flat dish). Massage it in, then cover tightly with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 48 hours. Bring to room temperature, then cook for 17 minutes per side exactly. Rest for 10 minutes, then carve.