Barbecued leg of lamb. Smoked whole leg of lamb on the BBQ.
This is the first time that I manage to smoke such a large piece of meat on a charcoal BBQ. Sure I had great success using the pellet smoker where you can regulate the volume of smoke and keep a constant temperature inside.
But looking at this leg of lamb, it was kind of begging me to place it on the charcoal grill. This is one of those “bullet” charcoal barbecues, it has two tiers, and a lid (you need a lid to keep the smoke and temperature inside) with a thermometer on top. Should be easy peasy.
For sure you need charcoal. This particular BBQ can be run on firewood as well, but if using it, you’ll find that the temperature is almost impossible to control, it will drop quick to 150C, and raise as quickly to over 240C…which means it’ll either burn the meat (leaving it raw inside) or not cook it at all.
- 1 leg of lamb
- fresh thyme and rosemary
- salt, black pepper, paprika (hot or sweet)
- garlic powder, onion powder, bay leaf powder
- 4 spoons olive oil
Anyway preparing the meat is simple. Mix the dried spices with the olive oil to create a paste. Rub all over the meat, vigorously. Using a sharp knife make some slits into the meat and stuff with thyme and rosemary. Let it marinate for at least 3 hours, or in the fridge overnight.
Now prepare the coals, and bring the temperature of the BBQ oven to around 220-230C. Place the meat on the top rack, in the middle. Leave to roast and catch on a nice crust on all sides. The herbs will burn but that’s good, it’s more flavour.
Let the temperature drop to 150-160C. Cover and keeping the same temperature throughout the cooking period, roast for about 4 hours or until the meat is tender and falls off the bone.
Now if you think that the procedure is too hard, or you think that keeping the temperature constant for 4 hours is too much…eat the salad. Only joking, there is a simpler way. To get the smoke and the cooking right.
Start by making a fire, with wood. Once the flames have died down, place the meat on the BBQ and let is catch on the nice crust and also it will get some of the smoke on. Once done, transfer to a preheated oven (160C) and cook until the meat is tender. Add some liquid to the tray so it doesn’t burn. Water, beer, cider, wine.
Serve with whatever garnishes you like, potato salad, roasted potatoes, mash. And salad. The simple salad below is made from sliced de-seeded cucumbers, sping onions, green garlic, chili and parsley, with a dressing of salt and pepper, oil and vinegar.