Weekend BBQ-ing: yoghurt marinated slow roasted lamb

This week has had a bit of a Middle Eastern theme, what with the pomegranates and tabbouleh. In keeping with this genre, I feel that there’s a need to pair this wonderful salad with an appropriate protein. So to slow roasted lamb.

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Lamb leg, marinating.

Lamb leg can be tough in parts and a bit sinewy, so a marinade helps to break down some of these tissues, and a long roast time finishes that job, resulting in lamb that is incredibly tender, while still retaining succulence.

I’ve married this lamb with babaganoush.  Eggplants roasted slowly over an open flame until they collapse, then mixed with herbs, spices, oil, lemon and a bit of yoghurt for extra creaminess.

Lamb, babaganoush and tabbouleh make a fantastic meal to share with friends, with a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine and some fine conversation.


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The finished product

1 whole leg of lamb (1.5-2 kg)
1/2 cup natural unsweetened yoghurt
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
Juice of a lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
Ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped mint or coriander, plus extra to garnish.

  1. Cut deep slashes into the lamb, approximately 3cm apart. Do this on both sides
  2. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl to make the marinade
  3. Place lamb in a non-reactive dish, pour over marinade, and rub into the slits cut into the lamb
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or for a minimum of 4 hours)
  5. The next day, heat the oven or barbecue to 160ºC.
  6. Place the lamb in a roasting dish and roast uncovered for 3-4 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.
  7. Shred meat from the bone, dress with extra herbs and serve.
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Babaganoush (Photography: BBC)


2 large eggplant (aubergine)
1/2 cup natural unsweetened yoghurt
Juice of a lemon
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
Ground pepper

  1. Heat barbecue grill to very hot
  2. Prick eggplant all over to allow steam to escape (I’ve learnt this the hard way – unpricked eggplant explode during cooking)
  3. Grill the eggplant until charred on the outside and very soft inside (the eggplant will collapse to indicate they’re ready)
  4. Remove eggplants from heat and put aside until they’re cool enough to handle.
  5. Use a spoon to scrape the flesh into a colander, placed over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 20 minutes to drain excess liquid.
  6. Roughly chop eggplant flesh, and place in a serving bowl
  7. Mix in all other ingredients, and season to taste (no extra salt should be needed).
  8. Garnish with a few pomegranate seeds, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped herbs. Serve with lamb as above or with bread for dipping.

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