BBQ Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Tahini, Green Chilli Yoghurt

Recipe: The Shack, Raglan | Photography: Ashlee deCaires
Serves 6–8
You will need to allow at least 2 hours for the marinade to work and just over an hour to cook. You can make life easier by marinating the lamb in the morning and preparing the tahini yoghurt, hazelnut picada and accompanying BBQ spring greens in advance.

5 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp each ground cumin, coriander, salt and paprika
1 tsp each ground fennel seed, black pepper
1 tbsp thyme leaves
3 garlic cloves, crushed
zest and juice 1 lemon

2½ kg leg of lamb, butterflied

Tahini, Green Chilli Yoghurt
¾ cup unsweetened yoghurt
2 tbsp tahini paste
zest and juice 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 green chilli, finely chopped

Optional extras: toasted sesame seeds, finely sliced chilli, pomegranate syrup, roughly chopped parsley and coriander for garnish

Marinate the lamb: Take a large dish or bowl and mix the olive oil, spices, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, zest and juice.

Place the lamb into the dish and with your hands work the marinade in to every nook and cranny. Cover and let the marinade work in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the tahini and green chilli yoghurt by whisking the yoghurt and tahini together in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and a splash of warm water if the sauce is too thick. Fold through the zest, garlic and chilli. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Whether you are using gas or coals for your BBQ, ensure they are piping hot.

Add the lamb, fat side down and cook for 5–6 minutes until well coloured. Don’t be afraid to take a peek as you go. Turn it over when you feel it has the desired colour and allow the other side to colour.

Lower the heat: Turn down the gas or move the hot coals to one side and allow the lamb to cook gently for about 30–45 minutes.

Pay attention to the lamb as it cooks. You will need to turn it so as not to burn it, move it closer or farther from the coals. Try and maintain a medium to low heat. To test how done the lamb is you can use a meat thermometer; 60°C will be nice and pink, or cut into the thickest part of the lamb to see if it is to your liking.

When you feel the lamb is ready, remove from the BBQ, place on serving board or platter, cover with foil and rest for 15–20 minutes.

When ready to serve, cut into thick slices or chunks and place on serving board or platter. Reserve any juices from the lamb, just in case anyone wants to use it as gravy! Liberally pour the tahini yoghurt over the lamb, garnish with sesame seeds, green chilli, pomegranate syrup, parsley and coriander.

BBQ Greens with Hazelnut Picada, Honey and Sheep’s Milk Cheese
Ideally you will want to cook the spring greens as the lamb is resting. Make sure you give the BBQ a good scrape to remove any burnt bits. You can make the picada in advance.

Image by Ashlee DeCaires

Hazelnut Picada
¼ cup toasted breadcrumbs
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
zest of 1 lemon (save the juice for the spring greens)
1 clove garlic, mashed
¼ cup parsley
¼ cup thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a well combined, crumbly texture. You can make this in advance and put aside until ready to serve.

BBQ Greens*
30 asparagus spears (snap off the woody part of the stem)
4–6 baby cos hearts, halved lengthways
500g sprouted broccoli, slender stems
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp runny honey
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
100g sheep’s milk cheese (feel free to substitute with feta, pecorino, Parmesan or any cheese with a tang!)
½ cup each chopped parsley and torn mint leaves for garnish

Make sure the BBQ is at a medium heat.
In a large bowl, coat the broccoli with 2 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the broccoli on the grill. It will take 6–8 minutes to cook and you will need to keep it moving to avoid burning.
After 3–4 minutes repeat the process with the baby cos and asparagus. Spread the asparagus and the baby cos, cut side down, on the BBQ. Turn after 2 minutes and allow another 2 minutes to finish cooking.
Return the vegetables to the bowl and dress with the honey, remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Transfer onto your serving dish, top with crumbled (or grated) cheese, hazelnut picada, parsley and mint leaves.

*Zucchini, fennel bulbs, peppers, onions can all be used as options, just allow for different cooking times.


About the Author

Vicki Ravlich-Horan

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