The butterfly leg – the new Sunday roast any day of the week this summer
I don’t know about you but as soon as I see the first blossom popping out on the trees and smell that earthy first lawn cut in the spring, my mind automatically goes into barbecue mode. Not snags or chicken drums (even though this is a mandatory consideration), I’m talking about meat – lamb in particular! Big pieces, lovingly and gently cooked encapsulating deep flavours that typically roasting in the oven will never give.
This summer I am truly excited about the Provenance boneless butterfly leg and the many options and ways to present and feature at the table. Here’s just one very simple, very effective option…
The square cut leg can be butterflied out by simply taking a sharp knife and making an incision from the underside down the side of the leg bone.
Being careful to only cut to just below the level that the bone sits and not all the way through.
Bring your knife from the hip joint ball, you will expose the side of the leg bone and then you can simply alter the angle and with the tip of the knife you can make small slices to continuously release the meat from the bone. Some wider cut at the shank end may be required to remove the cartilage from the knee cap, but slowly and small cuts will get you there.
If you’re not so adventurous with the butchery skills then I would suggest using the Provenance lamb butterfly leg cut, the work has all been done for you and is ready to go straight out of the pack.
So what next?
The whole idea about putting this leg on the barbecue is that you don’t have to stand there and prod and poke every few minutes, and why would you want to dirty your oven with splatterings of juice and oil?
Obviously, you need to know the sweet spot of your machine and using a temperature gauge is a more accurate way than using the bimetallic strip that comes as the standard gauge on most lidded models, with this in check you can then just treat the BBQ as an oven following the same temperatures that you would with your indoor oven.
For a standard 1.5kg boneless butterflied leg we can cook this at a slightly higher temperature than a full leg on the bone as the butterfly cut will cook so much quicker, just remember the rule of thumb before carving, make sure to rest the cooked leg in a warm place for as long as you cooked it or to a maximum of 40 minutes if you can spare the wait. This allows the cooking process to slow down and create a more even degree of doneness and juices will be retained in the meat rather than on the chopping board.
The nominal preheated temperature inside your BBQ you should be looking for is about 200°c to begin the sealing and caramelising process. Place your leg in the oven turning down after 20 minutes to about 165°c Cook for a further 20 minutes until the desired doneness has been reached.
I like my leg meat cooked a little further to medium (62°c internal temperature when probed) to allow for the connective tissue to be broken down and soften through the cooking process, the meat should still be pink and if rested well should be evenly pink throughout.
So, we have discussed the technical preparation and the cooking, and now for the creative stuff, flavours and what to serve the lamb with. The world’s your oyster when it comes to this side of things, but a few simple tips to make the experience more fun and enjoyable is don’t over think or complicate things.
Simple clean flavours will work well here, allow the clean flavours of the lamb to come through rather than disguising or masking the flavours. If rested well, the lamb should be juicy enough so just use any juices left in the pan from resting to pour back over after carving. These juices will carry any flavours that you had on the lamb prior to roasting such as pepper & salt and any herbs you might have added to the meat such as rosemary or thyme.
The inspiration for garnish should come from the spring and summer pantry and to make it easy I’ll throw some combinations of flavours that you can mix and experiment with, these are as follows…
- Honey & cumin seed roasted carrots with olive oil and fresh squeezed lime and lots of chopped Italian Parsley all tossed together.
- Baby spinach leaves, E.V olive oil with a thin drizzle of pomegranate molasses, sliced red onion, crumbled feta and crushed pita bread crostini.
This simple cooking method will bring out the best in Provenance lamb and a guaranteed hit with family and friends. Long live the summer roast!