Cooked in BBQ Greek style with a Mediterranean stuffing
Cruising on my motorcycle on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula in Australia, I bought a leg of lamb to barbecue on my Weber kettle BBQ. High heat, followed by slow cooking with a hint of smoke is the secret. See how juicy this leg of lamb is, complete with a feta cheese and semi sundried tomato stuffing. You could also make this recipe in a standard oven without the smoke. There is simply no better way to cook a leg of lamb then this process in a BBQ.
1 leg of lamb, main bone removed (I used 1.6kg - 3.5lb without bone)
50g - 1.7oz Feta cheese
75g - 2.5oz sundried or semi sundried tomatoes
1 whole bulb of garlic (separated and peeled)
1 tbsp dried oregano
8 black kalamata olives
4 tbsp Ketjap Manis (sweet thick soy sauce)
6 sprigs of rosemary
drizzle of olive oil
Add the sundried tomatoes to a small mixing bowl. Crumble and add the Feta cheese. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic. Add the oregano and cracked pepper. If required, pit the black olives, chop and add to bowl. Add a drizzle of olive oil and mix using a fork.
Place tomato stuffing inside the lamb leg where the main bone has been removed. Fold back any meat and then tie securely using kitchen twine. If not sure how, just tie one at a time.
Using a sharp paring knife, pierce some holes in the lamb and add half a clove of garlic followed by a piece of rosemary approx 1.5 inch long. You want approx 12 incisions, spread them evenly.
For a smokey BBQ, it’s best to soak some hickory wood or similar the day prior, so the wood absorbs the moisture. Always pre heat your BBQ well in advance, it can take some time to reach the right temperature. You want to reach 430°F – 220°C when you first place your lamb in the BBQ or oven. This will sear it and seal in all the juices. After 15 minutes turn it over and try and maintain that temperature.
In a small bowl, juice the whole lemon and add the Ketjap Manis sauce, mix well and using a brush and baste the lamb every 10 minutes or so. Rotate the lamb each time you baste it for even cooking.
Once it’s been in 30 minutes, turn down the temperature by restricting the airflow to 300°F – 150°C. You want to maintain that temperature for approx 60 minutes. Then turn off the heat by blocking all the air flows and leave the lamb another 30 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, the ideal temperature should be 120°F – 50°C in the centre for medium rare. Remove once it reaches 130°F – 55°C and let it rest another 20 to 30 minutes.
You can do this in a normal oven, of course you won't have the smokey flavour but still have a succulent and juicy lamb using this slow cooking method.
The great part about these style BBQ is that the heat naturally dies down, as it dies down the meat cooks slower and also rests at the same time. This is the secret to a perfect lamb.
Once you take the lamb out of the BBQ to rest, it will still go up in temperature from the internal heat, about 40°F - 5°C. Therefore it's still cooking. If using a meat thermometer, take that into consideration.