Butterfly leg of lamb

I learned this recipe on a cooking course six years ago, and it’s been my go-to dish ever since.

In fact, the first cooking job I did, I was called up at 10 o’clock in the morning and told that I’d be cooking supper in Gloucestershire that evening, so I legged it to the butcher, got a butterfly leg of lamb and chucked this marinade all over it – that’s the meat sorted, because it just needs putting in the oven and carving. No faff. So easy.

Also, it takes roughtly 40 minutes to cook, which is a useful amount of time, because it’s the same as roast carrots, potato gratin etc…so everything all comes together at the same time – and then it just takes a second to carve without having to manoeuvre round any bones.

butterfly leg of lamb (for 6-8 people with these amounts)
150ml of soy sauce
5 crushed garlic cloves
1 medium-size knob of peeled and grated ginger
2 tablespoons of mustard (preferably strong and grainy)
2 tablespoons of honey
2 chillies (dependent on strength of chillies and how you hot you can handle).

Size up your butterfly leg of lamb, and find an appropriate-sized tub to put it in. I find a 1kg Jacobs cracker tub works rather well, but a large ice cream tub or piece of Tupperware would be super too.

Peel the ginger (doing this with a teaspoon is quite effective) then grate it. Crush the garlic, slice the chillies and then mix everything together in your chosen tub. Make sure that all of the lamb has been coated in the marinade, and then leave it to sit flesh-side-down, skin-side-up, lid on.

The lamb should be in the marinade for at least four hours, but the longer you leave it, the more intense the flavour. Mum happily leaves the lamb soaking everything up for a couple of days, and it’s just delicious.

When it comes to cooking the butterfly leg of lamb, put it in a roasting tin and pop it in an oven at 180C. Don’t cook it with the marinade to begin with, because soy has a tendency to turn bitter if it’s cooked intensely.

After about 25 minutes, throw all the marinate over the lamb, and keep on cooking it for another 10 more minutes. Let it rest for five minutes, then slice. (Nb. This recipe works amazingly on a BBQ too-do everything exactly the same, but obviously don’t throw the marinade over the lamb, just heat it up separately)

Ideally, the lamb should still be nice and pink in the middle (…only I have to confess that on this occasion my lamb had been sitting in the fridge longer than is sensible, so I cooked the meat more than usual to make sure that I didn’t kill anyone. )

Make sure the marinade is nice and hot, then pour it into a jug and serve with the lamb.

I don’t think this photo does the lamb justice - ideally it should be pinker, but this still tasted just delicious - especially with the rich, soy-based sauce

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