4 garlic cloves
4 tbsp olive oil
juice 1 lemon
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 leg of lamb, butterflied
flatbreads, to serve
FOR THE TZATZIKI
½ cucumber, halved and deseeded
170 g pot Greek yoghurt
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 handful mint leaves, chopped
- Mash the garlic to a paste with a pestle and mortar. Mix with the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and thyme leaves, and season with a little salt and plenty of pepper. Place the lamb in a large porcelain dish. Pour the marinade over the lamb and massage into the meat. Leave the lamb for at least 1 hr at room temperature, or longer in the fridge, but no longer than overnight or the meat will become too soft.
- To cook the lamb, fire up the barbecue, or heat the oven to 220C/200C fan. To cook on the barbecue, wait for the coals to turn ashen, then lay the lamb on the grill and cook for 15 mins on each side for meat that is pink, or 20 mins on each side for well done. To cook in the oven, place the lamb in a shallow roasting tin and roast for 30 mins for pink or 40 mins for well done, turning the lamb halfway through. Leave the meat to rest for 10 mins before carving.
- Meanwhile, make the tzatziki. Coarsely grate the cucumber, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and squeeze out all the liquid. Tip into a bowl with the yoghurt, garlic and mint, and mix well. Carve the lamb into thick slices and serve with the tzatziki wrapped up in warm flatbreads.
- Lay the leg of lamb on a large, sturdy chopping board with the meatier side facing down. Locate the central bone either end, then use a sharp knife to make an incision from one end to the other, until you hit the bone.
- Use your knife to cut the meat away from the bone. Try to keep your knife as close to the bone as possible – use a scraping motion to avoid wasting too much meat.
- Continue cutting underneath the bone and around the hip joint until you are able to lift it out of the meat. You can now open the leg to resemble a pair of butterfly wings.
- Make slashes through the thicker parts of the meat to open the leg out further and give you an even thickness all over. This will allow the meat to cook evenly.
- Remove any tendons, sinew or large pieces of fat from inside the meat.
- Use a heavy rolling pin or mallet to bash the meat, to flatten it out slightly and give an even thickness throughout. The lamb can now be marinated or cooked straight away.