Greek Lamb, Chargrilled over Charcoal w/ Skordalia and Salad
This chargrilled lamb recipe is straight forward Greek cooking – simple ingredients cooked well. Charred crispy lamb over a spit, salads, citrus, olive oil and herbs are integral to the Greek cookbook. It is all about getting the best out of your ingredients and putting dishes together with a bit of TLC! Cook this one with friends and family and set the world to rights over a bottle of ouzo!
Greek food is some of my favourite food. Not least because of the pastry shops filled with custardy, lemony, sticky pastries and those un-pass-by-able almond biscuits that go so perfectly with a velvety short black coffee. Anyone who bemoans Greek cuisine has clearly never visited provincial Greece where British holiday necessities like pints of Stella and plates of greasy fish and chips (thankfully) do not exist.
Here in Melbourne, Australia we have a thriving Greek culture whose food in large part has been popularised by television chef, George Calombaris. Calombaris, whose modern Greek restaurants, including Hellenic Republic, The Press Club and Jimmy Grants all take their cues from his mother’s and grandmother’s cooking. It’s simple, honest Greek cooking that offers all price ranges a taste of this deliciously diverse cuisine.
Of course when we’re on a tight food budget it’s hard to set aside money to visit a nice restaurant. Instead, fire up the bbq and cook this delicious charred lamb recipe for a little taste of Greece at home.
The Lamb Serves: 2 with a week’s worth of leftovers OR 6 as a main meal
Prep time: 1.5 hours
1kg boneless lamb (shoulder or leg)
Zest of 1 lemon
3 large garlic cloves
3 sprigs thyme
1 long sprig rosemary
285g frozen peas
10 green beans
10-15 mint leaves
50g goats feta
Juice from 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Trim off any excess hard fat on the lamb and rub a little salt and olive oil all over the meat. Place in a large bowl/pan and rub over the marinade ingredients – finely chopped garlic, thyme and rosemary, and finely zested lemon. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinade for a minimum of one hour.
Cook the lamb over charcoal until the core temperature is 60-65C (medium) – about 15 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes.
While the meat is resting, prepare the salad. Begin by running the frozen peas beneath a cool tap until defrosted and blanching the green beans in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Place together in a bowl and add finely sliced mint leaves (top tip – roll the mint leaves together into a cigar and finely slice to the end).
Squeeze the juice of one lemon and an equal amount of olive oil into a jug with a little salt and pepper and whisk until emulsified. Pour over the salad and mix well before crumbling over the feta. Serve immediately.
Add oregano to the lamb marinade for an earthy flavour.
Instead of skordalia, have with crushed baby potatoes with butter and soft herbs.
A traditional Greek salad wouldn’t be remiss.