Lemon thyme and fennel butterflied leg of lamb recipe

By Debbie Major

  1. Serves 6
  2. Takes about 5 minutes to make, 25-30 minutes to barbecue, plus 1-24 hours’ marinating and 5 minutes’ resting
  3. Rating

The marinade for this barbecued dish will work well with any type of red meat, poultry or fish.

tried and tested
Lemon thyme and fennel butterflied leg of lamb


  1. 2.5kg good-quality leg of lamb, butterflied (ask your butcher to do this for you), trimmed of fat
  2. 6 tbsp olive oil
  3. 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  4. 1 tbsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  5. 6 lemon thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  6. Pared zest and juice of 1 lemon
  7. 1 tsp Maldon sea salt flakes
  8. ½ tsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns
  9. Chunky chips, to serve


  1. 1. Cut and open up any thicker areas of meat so that it is all about 4-5cm thick. Mix all the other ingredients (apart from the chips) together in a large shallow dish, add the lamb and coat well. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour, or chill and marinate for up to 24 hours.
  2. 2. If using a charcoal barbecue, light about 30 minutes before you want to cook. For a gas barbecue, preheat 10 minutes beforehand.
  3. 3. Lift the lamb out of the dish, let the excess oily marinade drain away, then lay on the barbecue. Cook over a direct high heat for 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally and moving away from any flare-ups, until well-coloured but pink and juicy in the middle. Test by making a cut in the thickest part and check if cooked to your liking or test by pushing in a meat thermometer – it should read 60°C. Cook for longer if you like.
  4. 4. Transfer the lamb to a board, cover and rest for 5 minutes. Carve into thick slices and serve with chunky chips.

Nutritional info

Per serving: 783kcals, 43.1g fat (2.2g saturated), 71.2g protein, 30.5g carbs, 0.7g sugar, 0.9g salt

Chef's tip

This marinade will work well with any type of red meat, poultry or fish. ‘Butterflied’ lamb is so-called because when the bone is removed from the leg and the meat is opened out, the shape resembles a butterfly’s wings. Cooking temperature: direct high heat.


Please register or sign-in to leave a comment. We’d love to hear what you think.

Sign in
Sign in

Forgot password ?

Why sign up?
Save recipes, enter exclusive competitions and upload you own recipes!

Register for free now
Sign up for our newsletter for the latest news, recipes and offers.
Healthy recipes
Dinner parties
Dinner parties

Get delicious. news & recipes straight to your inbox
* indicates required
( mm / dd / yyyy )