There’s nothing better than cooking a leg of lamb on the BBQ. Albeit a simple process, there is a certain amount of detail to consider. It’s not your traditional BBQ.
Here in Britiain, we often don’t deviate much from cooking the staples on the BBQ. In some circumstances, your BBQ won’t permit you to cooking much else but there is certainly a whole new world that can be explored that will really get your taste buds going. And in all honesty, these type of recipes are easier than a traditional BBQ where you might end up with charcoaled food that not only isn’t that nice to look at but also tastes more of the fuel used to cook it than the food itself. All of that can be a thing of the past. Say “hello” to indirect cooking!!
Indirect cooking, put simply, is where you don’t cook over the heat but the heat is around the food with a drip tray underneath. You can achieve this on a gas BBQ but it really comes into its own on a traditional coal BBQ such as a Weber Kettle where you have the dome lid.
This type of BBQ really does start to mix traditional with sophistication. Boasting a thermometer, coal bucket and the classic look of a Weber BBQ, this really is a must have for patio this summer time.
The beauty about a Weber BBQ is that there are a whole range of accessories available.
Anyhow, enough said on that! The whole reason that you are reading this is because you want to know how to cook a whole leg of lamb on the BBQ that can give you and your BBQ guests (assuming you’re not eating the whole thing to yourself) a mouth watering experience.
As a rule of thumb a 2KG leg of lamb (quite a standard weight) will feed up to 8 people – depending on how hungry they are.
- 1 Bulb of Garlic
- Bunch of rosemary
- Salt – in everyones cupboard
- Pepper – ground black
- Olive oil
- Lamb Stock – around 1L
- 250ml of red wine – my suggestion is merlot
- A couple of carrots
For best results:
In my opinion, this one really is key. Marinate the meat the night before. Sometimes, we really underestimate the amount of time that it takes for the meat to absorb the flavours. One night in the fridge, really will make a difference. However, if you can’t, try to leave as much time as possible before you have to place on the BBQ.
Ok, firstly, I will be honest, there are a lot of different versions of this out there but out of pure experience, this is what I deem to be the best. And don’t just take my word for it, those that have eaten it, also claim that it is REAL good! You will need:
- Garlic – 1 bulb should do the trick. Don’t skimp on it though
- A buch of rosemary. As fresh as it gets!
- Salt – a standard marinade
- Pepper – should be in every cupboard
- Olive oil
So first of all, I use a brush and put a very thin layer of oil over the top of the leg but only so much that the salt and pepper will stick to it. You don’t want it dripping. Olive oil and fire really don’t mix!
Then take a sharp knife and make small incisions so that you can stud the lamb with the garlic and the rosemary. You don’t want to put whole cloves in as that would mean that your incisions are too big. You are most likely looking at 0.5 of a cm. And remember, you are try to flavour the lamb but not allow the juices to run out at the same time. If you marinade overnight, this is perfect. Overall, you are looking to put about 4-5 garlic cloves into the lamb. Once you have inserted the garlic into the incisions, add the rosemary. This will give the classic lamb flavour that the palette craves!
Now gently, without disturbing the garlic, rub in the salt and the pepper onto the lamb. My recommendation would be no more than three pinches – but that will depend to taste.
Now cover and put it in the fridge overnight and let the magic happen.
Now this is the important part. I’m going to explain the indirect cooking method that you can use on a webber. This is very dependant on what BBQ you are going to use. Set up the BBQ so that you can have the drip tray in the middle with the Char-Baskets either side of the drip tray. This serves two purposes:
- You don’t have the heat directly under the meat. The last thing you want to do with your expensive leg is to burn it. This will allow the heat to rise up the side of the BBQ and then because of the dome, circulate.
- It also allow you to have a drip tray. a) to catch the juices and stop them falling on the coals and b) allows you to add some extra oomph that further infuses the meat as it cooks.
Now that you have that set up, it is time to light it up. Heat up the BBQ to around 200C. This will take some time and I would recommend using dry briquettes as they hold their heat a lot longer than lump wood charcoal.
Once at temperature, add the carrots (roughly cut), Lamb stock, red wine & onion to the drip tray – doesn’t need to look pretty, just serve its purpose. This will then heat to create steam within the dome.
Place the lamb over the drip tray and put the lid on right away.
Ideally, you want to cook the lamb for around 2 hours but the real detail is in the temperature of it. As a rough guide, you are looking at around 1:45 to 2:00 hours – turning half way through. The middle temperature should be around 65C when it is cooked.
As much as it is tempting, try not to take the lid off during the cooking as you will be letting out valuable heat.
Once cooked, remove from the BBQ, wrap in tin foil and carve/shred only after 20 minutes.
What you will be left with is delicious roast lamb but with BBQ essence.
Personally, I love this dish served with pitta bread, salad,sauces & sweet potato wedges. However, a more traditional approach can be had with salad, roast potatoes and some vegetables. I quite like the way that this dish can be a serve yourself meal making your guests enjoy it even more.
Enjoy!! Comment below if you have any further suggestions or comments.