UK BBQ Mag Summer 2016 - Page 86

The cooking of lambs on crosses next to a bed of wood coals is probably the simplest and easiest way to cook them, as there’s no worries about size, very little equipment needed and not much in the way of washing up!

It is also infinitely controllable in terms of how you build and tend the fire, and then simply the distance from that fire that you place the lamb.

One of the main benefits of cooking lamb this way is the gentle smoky flavours and the mix of high heat, with plenty of fresh air, that is particularly rewarding when cooking lamb that you want to stay pink and juicy, yet get that great crust and crisping of the fat on the outside, which the fire is so

good for.

I tend to go with a rub or paste (such as our Latin Lamb Rub), as well as a nice brushing on of some extra seasoning as the cook nears its end. This way, you get the best of both worlds. The salty aromatic and flavourful crunch on the outside, combined with moist, tender meat on the inside.

Bigger lambs can have legs and shoulders butterflied to a greater of lesser extent when fixing them to the cross to even out the cooking process and provide extra surface area, and I tend to cook the larger ones upside down on the cross to give the shoulders a head start.

Smaller/spring lambs, I find

do best the right way up with legs at the bottom and don’t need any book-leafing given the tenderness of the smaller primals.

If you haven’t tried this, I can heartily recommend you do, and remember the coals can always be spread in a tray, or on a plancha in front of the lamb if you are cooking on a hard surface or don’t want a fire on the ground in the garden.

Laying out a chimney starter or two’s worth of lit charcoal, then adding more coals as you go along is a perfectly good way to achieve results if logs or burning space is in short supply.

So with these simple, easy methods of tackling whole animals, you can provide a fairly hassle free, centre piece for that pig occasion or you can just discover what an easy way it is to economically

provide larger quantities of puled or carved meats for catering big numbers or for providing the meat element to dishes in bulk. Especially pies, stews, ragus and those other one pot wonders that taste so great when you make them with smoked or fire cooked meats added in.

When you look at the comparative cost of buying whole pigs and whole lambs.,