Moroccan-style barbecued leg of lamb

Moroccan-style barbecued leg of lamb

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 40 mins - 50 mins Plus marinating and resting

A challenge

Serves 6 - 8
Mary Cadogan demonstrates the technique of boning out a leg of lamb and how to cook it

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal734
  • fat45g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs1g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein81g
  • salt0g
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  • 50g butter, melted



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 tsp each ground cumin, coriander and praprika
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • zest and juice 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 1 tsp harissa



    This hot, aromatic paste made from chilli and assorted other spices and herbs is spicy and…

  • 2½ kg leg of lamb, butterflied



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

For the sauce

  • 1 tsp harissa



    This hot, aromatic paste made from chilli and assorted other spices and herbs is spicy and…

  • handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 300g Greek yogurt


  1. Mix the butter and oil in a bowl, then stir in the spices, thyme, garlic, lemon zest and juice. Add the harissa, 1 tsp salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper, and mix well.

  2. Put the butterflied lamb (see step-by-step guide) in a large shallow dish and spoon over the marinade. Using your hands, rub it all over the meat. Cover loosely with foil or cling film and leave to marinate for at least 2 hrs, or overnight in the fridge.

  3. Light the barbecue, adding plenty of coals. When it is ready, add the lamb, fat-side down, and cook on a fairly high heat for 5 mins until well browned. Turn over and cook for another 5 mins to brown the other side.

  4. Move the coals to the sides of the barbecue to reduce the heat under the meat and cook more gently for 30-40 mins, turning occasionally. This timing will give you pink meat.

  5. Remove the meat to a large board and cover tightly with foil. Leave to rest for 10-15 mins.

  6. For the sauce, fold the harissa, a little salt and the coriander into the yogurt. Cut the lamb into thick slices and serve with the sauce and couscous, if you like.

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Comments (12)

tombennett83's picture

I cannot recommend this recipe highly enough! Just cooked it, and it was perfection. Really transported me back to the High Atlas, and the delicious food I ate in the street cafes and barbecue restaurants there. I cooked it for less time on the coals, probably 2 mins each side, then moved it to the side of the coals and closed the lid on the bbq... then about 30 mins cooking with the lid down. Came out absolute perfection. Served with roasted vegetables and couscous... I want to eat it all again! Going to cook this for my larger family later in the Summer (this was just my wife and me and half a leg of lamb...)

lizleicester's picture

Left out the butter (had to be dairy free) and didn't butterfly the lamb, but otherwise followed this delicious recipe and everyone loved it.

GinnyRy's picture

This is a brilliant recipe that we do at least two or three times every summer. The flavours are absolutely amazing and is a really special centrepiece to any BBQ.

57406112's picture

Superb on the BBQ and in the oven. Really easy if you get your butcher to bone the joint for you.

emmahaines1's picture

I tried this last night, now I'm not a big lover of lamb but wow we all loved it, I didn't have chance to butterfly the lamb so cooked it for the normal time, the smell from the marinade was gorgeous and the dip went down so well, and served with salad a new potatoes, will definitely do again but next time I will leave the meat to marinade over night.

hcoder's picture

i got very nice results! awesome recipe!

rozjoya's picture

After marinading overnight we cooked this in the oven until almost done and then finished it off on the BBQ. It was lovely.!

misalol2008's picture

I have marinated leg of lamb with bone over night and after I cooked it in oven.
Very tasty result ;-)'s picture

Worked really well, the sauce with the harissa paste was a real hit. I cooked it on the BBQ about 3 minutes each side and then on indirect heat for about 30/35 minutes - it was slightly overdone but was delicious and tender all the same.

RosePrim1's picture

I have cooked this twice now, and it was fabulous - despite my over cooking it both times (you know how it is with BBQs !). The lamb remained moist and tender and the spicing was superb. A very forgiving recipe!

Clovecooks's picture

This was absolutely delicious and is going in to my 'must cook again' file. We cooked it on the barbecue for our Sunday evening meal on a very hot Sunday; it took 5 mins on each side and then a further 30mins (ie 40mins total). I used a boned shoulder of lamb. Next time I will make more sauce as it was so good everyone wanted it.

hugieboogie1's picture

Yummy! I have done this recipe many times but I mix all the spices with crushed garlic, into a small pot of natural yogurt. This makes a brilliant marinade and you can vary the spice mix depending on whether you want an Indian, Chinese or Mediterranean flavour.

Questions (1)

familychef's picture

Can this cook recipe cook in the oven, if so, please give instructions

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