Early December is the time when we suddenly realise that Christmas is nearly upon us and planning needs to be done for the family dinner on the big day. My grown up children have informed us that they are really not too keen on turkey and I was telling them that when I was growing up, we always had a roast hogget plus the much anticipated treat of a roast chicken.
So we have decided that retro Christmas is what we will do this year even though chicken is not the rarity it was back then. There will, however, be a Mediterranean twist on the roasted hogget to accommodate more modern taste buds. The recipe below is one of my husband’s signature dishes for his charcoal barbecue and it will work nearly as well on a good gas barbecue. It is my favourite way of serving lamb over the summer.
Moroccan Spiced Lamb
Serves 6 to 8
- 1 boned leg lamb, about 1 ½ kilo, butterflied and trimmed of any excess fat and sinew
- Marinade ½ cup chopped brown onion
- 1 tblsp grated lemon zest ¼ cup lemon juice
- 3 tblsp extra virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves
- 1- 2 tsps chilli flakes 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp kosher salt
In a food processor combine all the marinade ingredients into a smooth paste. Place the lamb in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade and refrigerate for 1 hour. Allow the lamb to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
Remove lamb from the bag, letting the marinade cling to the meat. Discard the marinade left in the bag.
Grill the lamb over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until nicely browned on both sides, turning once. This will take about 6 minutes. Then place the lamb over indirect heat and cook, with lid closed, to your desired doneness; 15 to 20 minutes for medium rare. This is a time when a meat thermometer is invaluable.
Remove the lamb from the grill to rest for about 5 minutes before carving. Cut across the grain into thin diagonal slices and serve warm. If there is any left the cold slices make a great sandwich filling.