Lemon thyme and fennel butterflied leg of lamb

  • for 6 people
  • Takes about 5 minutes to make, 25-30 minutes to barbecue, plus 1-24 hours’ marinating and 5 minutes’ resting
  • Easy
The marinade for this barbecued dish will work well with any type of red meat, poultry or fish.

Nutritional info per serving

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

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


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. If using a charcoal barbecue, light about 30 minutes before you want to cook. For a gas barbecue, preheat 10 minutes beforehand.
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. Transfer the lamb to a board, cover and rest for 5 minutes. Carve into thick slices and serve with chunky chips.

  • 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.

From June 2008

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