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Marinated Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Asian Green Sauce

from The Good Cook by Simon Hopkinson
Marinated Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Asian Green Sauce

1 leg of iamb, butterflied, to give a rough boned weight of about 2 1/2-3 lb

For the marinade:
5 oz light soy sauce
2 oz sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
big knob of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
juice of 1 orange
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp muscovado (or other dark brown) sugar
1 tsp (heaping) ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika

For the sauce:
3 1/2 oz coriander leaves
1 1/2 oz mint leaves
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sugar
1 heaped tsp sea salt
3 oz lime juice
7-10 green chillies
7 oz Greek yogurt

This and many other wonderful recipes may be found in Simon Hopkinson's
The Good Cook


Lamb cooked in this way is terrifically tasty-whether marinated or not.

The skin of the meat sizzles and blisters almost to a blackened crust, in the most agreeable fashion. I have cooked this on an open fire in Greece, where the charcoal gives an incomparable flavor to the meat, but a ribbed stove-top grill offers excellent results, too. Do make sure that you allow the lamb to rest once cooked, as this will ensure an even pink-if you like it pink, that is-hue right through the meat, while also keeping the juices intact when carving.

This is also particularly nice eaten with tzatziki on future occasions, when you may enjoy a change from the green sauce, delicious as it is. However, I am unsure as to whether one should serve both together, as there may be a clash of culinary continents, here.

Process all the ingredients for the marinade in a blender until as smooth as possible (pass through a sieve to be on the safe side, if you like). Lay the lamb in a large lidded pot or plastic container, and pour over the marinade. Massage the mixture into the meat, turning it over and over, until well coated. Cover with the lid (or plastic wrap or kitchen foil) and put into the fridge for 24-and up to 48-hours, turning occasionally. Lift out the meat from the marinade, shake off excess liquid and drain well in a colander, say, then pat dry with paper towels. Season well with salt and smear oil over the entire surface; hands are best here.

Heat a large, stove-top ribbed grill to medium-hot or, even better, a charcoal-fired barbecue; this will give the most perfect and authentic results. Otherwise, preheat the oven to 400°F, and put the lamb on a wire rack fitted inside a roasting dish.

If using the grill or barbecue method (the cook should keep the grill/coals at moderate to high temperature), lay the meat down and leave to quietly crust over the heat for about 20 minutes. Turn over and repeat (this is timed for nicely pink meat). If you choose to take the oven route, the turnings and timings remain about the same, but check that the lamb does not brown too much. Remove to a large serving platter and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes-and up to half an hour - while kept warm, loosely covered with foil if necessary (see page 320). Note: it is intentional that the surface will have become slightly blackened in parts, but the resultant pink inside contrasts winningly with the carbonized exterior.

Meanwhile, place all the green sauce ingredients in a small food processor and make a smooth, slack puree. Pour out into a bowl and set aside until the lamb is ready.

Transfer the lamb to a board and neatly carve into thin slices. Return them to the platter, collect any resultant juices and spoon over the meat. Serve with the green sauce and a plain green salad of, say, crisp romaine leaves simply dressed with lemon and olive oil.

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