For the uninitiated amongst you, a lepidopterist is a butterfly expert. I wouldn’t know a Painted Lady if she landed on my face and a Comma would only give me pause, as it were. I do a pretty passable job of butterflying a leg of lamb but that doesn’t makes me a butterfly expert. As I was feeling fairly lazy when shopping, I bought my leg of lamb butterflied. So, I spent my time thinking about a marinade. This Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Fennel, Chilli and Honey will have you all a flutter.
If you want a step by step guide to butterflying, have a look here. The ingredients list is short enough and everything is available in the local supermarket (apart from the lamb – get that in a quality butcher).
- A butterflied leg of lamb. (I used top quality Wicklow Mountain lamb).
- A bulb of garlic
- 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon of chilli seeds
- Half a teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of smoked sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of good quality honey
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Grind the garlic, salt and pepper together with the olive oil. Add it to a roasting dish and add the remaining ingredients (except the lamb).
Stir this to incorporate and then add the lamb. Spoon the marinade over the lamb and cover.
Store it in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight, if you are organised enough to do this the day before.
Take the lamb out of the fridge a couple of hours before grilling. This will get the meat up to room temperature. Fire up the barbecue. When it is hot, turn it down to low. Grill the lamb for a maximum of 25 minutes, turning once. We don’t want the meat cooked any further than medium rare.
Let the meat rest. Slice it how you like it, across the grain.
Get a salad together and serve with some nice crusty bread.
All that is left for me to do is to recommend that you come out of your culinary chrysalis, spread your wings and fly with this lovely lamb. You will be both a Lepidopterist (butterfly expert) and accomplished cook.