Sunday, August 05, 2007

Barbecued shoulder of lamb

My barbecue enthusiasm continues. I am almost a convert.

With guests staying, and with the weather encouraging us to dine outdoors, I decided that a barbecued joint would be both a treat and simple to prepare. Our local butcher created a work of art: a boned shoulder of lamb, rolled into a torpedo shape and tied. I shoved slivers of garlic and sprigs of rosemary into the folds, rubbed the meat with sunflower oil, and salted it.

I heated a good mound of charcoal, adding to it continually for about an hour and a half. The barbecue allows you to insert the rack at different heights: I started on the middle setting, but found that the heat was intense enough to allow me to raise it.

A shoulder of lamb is fatty. The fat drops on to the coals, igniting small fires. You have to manipulate the joint constantly at first, to prevent charring.

I cooked the lamb for 40 minutes, turning it regularly. Sliced, it was still slightly pink in the centre: perfect, in other words.

We ate it with gratin dauphinois and green beans.

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