Thursday, 11 July 2013

Barbecuing neck of lamb

I have never made a decent barbecue, partly down to the fact that I never had a barbecue. We purchased a smallish one last august and, in the rush of the setting sun of summer, whacked out a few burger sessions. They were OK. But when summer 2012 came to an abrupt end, we were left dreaming of what we could do next year. That year never seemed to arrive, and by the start of June we were starting to face the sad realisation that we may not get much barbecuing done this year.
Thankfully (for my overall well being, regardless of barbecuing) summer has arrived, and Victoria park in East London is covered by a thick veil of meat smoke. As atmospheric as barbecues in the park can be, I had an overwhelming desire to get away from the sight of packaged burgers and supermarket sausages - so we were off home with some Ginger Pig neck of lamb and a few chorizo sausages.
Originally the plan was to have some sort of chicken barbecued with chorizo, but arriving late in the day at the Ginger pig expecting to have chicken on the first hot weekend is very foolish. With depleted stock, and no back up plan, I panicked and came out with a diced neck of lamb fillet.

Barbecued neck of lamb
Makes 4 large skewers

- diced neck of lamb fillet, around 300g
- harissa, heaped tbsp
- freshly squeezed lemon juice, tbsp
- olive oil, tbsp
- red pepper
- red onion

Place the diced lamb in a bowl. Mix the oil, lemon juice and harissa together and pour over the lamb, rubbing  the mix into the pieces. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least an hour (preferably two). Remove from the fridge at least half an hour before cooking.
Chop the red pepper and red onion into bite size chunks. Place the lamb, peppers and onion onto skewers (be careful with the onions - I slipped and poked my finger tips a few times) and place on a hot barbecue for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. The end result should be crisp and aromatic on the outside, yet delectably tender on the inside (with parts still pinkish). Not sure what these would best go with, but since it's a barbecue I guess it doesn't matter. We ate them with split barbecued chorizo and a wheat and mango salad, though they seemed more like three separate meals.

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