So finally, I brought up some courage and went to our local butcher and placed an order. It seems that this is quite a popular thing to ask for, because they had ready made ones and a choice of marinades. But I'd made plans, so I got a plain one.
And yesterday I picked it up, nicely vacuum wrapped and all. It was a quite large lump of meat, so I made loads of marinade:
2,25 l yogurt
5 tbsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 heads of garlic, peeled and crushed/pressed
1 bone free leg of lamb ca 1.6 kg
- Mix the yogurt and spices in a large bowl.
- If you feel there's too much fat on the lamb, remove some of it, but leave some to keep the meat juicy during cooking.
- If you don't plan to cook and eat everything, cut up the lamb in smaller pieces.
- Place the lamb in the marinade. Note that there's enough to completely cover it. Leave for 24 hours in the fridge.
- When ready to cook, take out the pieces and rinse off all the marinade.
- Cook on the barbecue until ready.
I had originally planned to make the marinade the evening before, in order to get all the flavours out, but didn't get a chance to do that. Still this worked like a treat and the meat was VERY tasty.
Now the story behind the yogurt marinade. When I lived in Bulgaria as a child, a diplomat from Afganistan lived in the flat above us with his family. His wife and my Mum were very good friends. Now in Afganistan, goat and mutton are often cooked and to get rid of the smell that these types of meat often have (and that many people, including me, find unpleasant), they marinate in yogurt. This seems to remove the smell and tenderise the meat too.
I didn't have a chance to speak to my Mum to ask for the exact recipe, so the above is an improvisation. And it worked ever so well, the meat was super! Sadly we waited too long for the barbecue to burn out and had to finish cooking it in the oven.
And here is what it looked like:
But it didn't stay this way for long...