Barbecued greek lamb

Photographer: Kurt
serves 6 – 8

I have made this recipe a couple of times over the summer break, it always gets a great reception. The lemon and yogurt marinade really plays well against the richness of the lamb, making for a well-balanced dish.

This dish is great cooked on a gas grill or a charcoal barbecue; both methods work well. The grill gives a flavoursome charred exterior, with the charcoal method imparting a beautiful smoky depth to the dish.

Dodging the smoke from the barbecue, feeling the sun beating down on your neck, a cold beer in your hand – sounds like summer time – bring it on!


1 leg of lamb, butterflied
5 cloves garlic
200ml plain yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp thyme

1 cucumber
500g Greek yoghurt
3 medium cloves of garlic (1 tbsp minced garlic)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar


1. In a large pestle and mortar, mash the garlic to a paste.
2. Add the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, thyme and salt and pepper.
3. Place the butterflied lamb in a tray and pour the marinade over the lamb, get your hands in there and massage the marinade into the lamb.
4. Cover and refrigerate the lamb for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
5. Remove the meat from the fridge 1 hour before cooking, heat your grill.
6. Scrape any excess marinade off the lamb, then place on the grill. Sear the outside (5 minutes per side) then lower the heat and cook for a further 30 minutes for a medium rare.
7. Rest the meat for 20 minutes then serve with tzatziki and flat breads, couscous or even new potatoes.
8. While the meat is resting make the Tzatziki: Grate cucumber, and sprinkle with 2 tsp salt (this will help extract the moisture).
9. Squeeze the grated cucumber to remove moisture and discard the liquid.
10. In a large bowl, combine cucumber, yoghurt, (these should be approximately equal volume), garlic, oil, red wine vinegar.
11. Cover and refrigerate till serving time.
12. Serve lamb with flat bread and a good dollop of Tzatziki.