Spring lamb - just why is it so good?
The reason we have come to associate spring with lamb season is because this is when lambs are most plentiful in Australia.
Most of the lamb in Australia is produced in Victoria and New South Wales where rainfall and grass growth is highest in spring. Farmers take advantage of this by having more stock on the ground during this time. Spring lamb is is birthed in Autumn and sold between September and November when it is between 50- 60 kg in weight.
Because lambs are able to graze on lush grasses they take up nutrients from these such as Omega 3 and 6 making spring lamb a healthy family choice. As the lambs have not reached full maturity yet the meat is much leaner and tender while also having a deliciously mild flavour.
Guide to barbecue roasting a boned, butterflied lamb leg or butterflied lamb shoulder.
Preheat the barbecue to 200ºC (the burners should be set at medium). Determine the weight of the lamb (once the bone has been removed) and brush it lightly with oil. Season with salt, pepper and flavourings.
Place the beef or lamb in the centre of the barbecue. Turn the burners directly under the meat off. The remaining burners are left on to conduct and circulate the heat around the roast.
Close the lid and roast for the recommended cooking time:
- Rare: 20-25 mins per 500g
- Medium: 25-30 mins per 500g
- Well done: 30-35 mins per 500g
For ease and accuracy use a meat thermometer.
You’ll find a butterflied lamb shoulder or leg has an uneven thickness, so the thinner parts will cook faster than the thicker parts, which naturally means some will be cooked a little more, some a little less.
Remove roast when cooked to desired degree. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10-20 minutes before carving. Carve the roast across the grain to ensure tenderness.
Here’s how to flavour a butterflied lamb with your favourite ingredient:
Peel two or three cloves of garlic and cover them with boiling water for a few minutes. Drain and then cut the garlic into thin pieces. This takes any raw flavour from the garlic, particularly if you like your lamb cooked to medium or medium rare. Make small incisions over the top of the lamb and push the garlic in.
Information and recipe source beefandlamb.com.au
Recipe: BBQ Butterflied Lamb with Chilli Vegetable Salad
Butterflied leg of lamb, trimmed (approx. 1.5kg)
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp mirin
1 long red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
Chilli vegetable salad:
1 tbsp oilve oil
250g Japanese pumpkin, peeled, cut into 4cm pieces
250g baby chat potatoes, quartered
½ cauliflower head, cut into florets
1 small broccoli head, cut into florets
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
1 small bunch of English spinach, trimmed, roughly torn
¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Pre-heat a lightly oiled barbecue or chargrill pan over medium high heat. Combine garlic, soy, sesame oil and mirin in a small bowl. Rub marinade over lamb and season.
Cook lamb for 12 to 15 mins on each side, brushing with marinade, or until cooked to your liking. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes and thinly slice.
In a large roasting pan lined with baking paper, place the pumpkin, potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the spices. Season and toss to coat. Roast vegetable for 30 to 35 minutes, turning once, or until golden and tender. Add spinach to the pan, toss and sprinkle with hazelnuts.
Serve lamb with roasted vegetables.