Sunday Hopkinson Lamb

It does not have to be sunny to have a barbeque. Sunday was grey and miserable with a continual threat of rain but I had bought a great butterflied leg of lamb from The International Store the previous day and it had been marinating in the fridge overnight and to shove it under the grill would not do it justice. Cooking over the raw heat of white charcoal would be the only way to get the right combination of dark almost caramalised exterior and pink middle.

It is only over the last month or so that I have bought meat from the small butchers at the back of The International Store and I have not been disappointed yet. They have whole chickens with their heads still on and before it was taken off the bone the leg of lamb was of a size that I am not sure it would fit in the oven. Next time I will get it on the bone and it can be roasted stuffed with garlic, anchovies and rosemary on a bed of cannellini beans and tomato sauce.

The marinade was from Simon Hopkinson – an onion, garlic, ginger, orange and lemon juice, cumin and coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, paprika, soy sauce and sesame oil all wizzed together into a fine sauce in the food processor, poured of the lamb and left overnight in the fridge.

On Sunday afternoon as grey clouds loomed up from the horizon the barbeque was piled high with coals and lit. After half an hour the coals were white and I spread them out so an even hot heat glowered at the rack that I placed above them. I laid the lamb down and put on the lid and left it for 20 minutes by which time one side was nicely blackened and I turned it over for another 20 minutes. Cooks perks – so I took a couple of slices to make sure all was going okay. I took the lamb off the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes or so whilst the table was laid and the rest of the late lunch completed.

We ate it with a yogurt sauce and roasted new potatoes and a plate of salad from the garden.

The music should have been Frank Sinatra in his Vegas years.

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