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Grilled butterflied lamb leg with Kentucky mop sauce

We get world-class lamb, mutton and hogget in the UK so there’s no real reason to buy a variety from overseas.

 Sam and Shauna   Summer 2020 Join us on        @thebbqmag

 #SamAndShauna #Butterflied #Lamb #Leg




We get world-class lamb, mutton and hogget in the UK so there’s no real reason to buy a variety from overseas. We agree it can be expensive at this time of year so you may as well make the most of it if you can afford. This dish looks really impressive when served on a big platter or chopping board with some delicious sides with some mint and rosemary as garnish.




Grilled butterflied lamb leg with Kentucky mop sauce

  • 2kg boneless lamb leg (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper


  • 250g buttermilk or full fat natural yoghurt
  • Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon,
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp coarse ground pepper
  • Handful fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped (use dried if you don’t have any fresh)
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary (use dried if you don’t have any fresh)
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme

For the Kentucky Mop Sauce

  • 150ml water
  • 125ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 75ml cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 60g tomato puree
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • Juice of ½ lemon




  1. First, whizz the marinade ingredients in a food processor. Using a pairing knife, make a few little cuts all over the lamb leg and put it in a large ziplock bag (or a container you can cover that will fit in the fridge). Spoon in the marinade into the bag – or massage it over.
  2. Expel any air from the bag, zip it up and refrigerate overnight. The next day, use kitchen towels to wipe off the excess marinade. Discard the marinade. Season the lamb with the salt and pepper and put it in a baking tray and leave to sit for at least 30-40 minutes to come to room temperature before you’re ready to cook it.


  1. We’re going to grill this hunk of meat directly, then indirectly. Get a hot bed of coals started on one side of your grill, you’ll want it to last 1 hour at medium heat and maintain a temperature of about 160°C.
  2. You may want to get a chimney starter ready so you can add more white-hot coals if the temperature starts to dip – just throw a couple in when you need it. We prefer a milder wood for lamb – any fruit wood, but cherry gives a wonderful colour to the outside of the lamb. Have 2 fist-size chunks to hand or if your using chippings, 2 large scoops. Add these, 1 chunk or 1 scoop at the start of your cook, replenish when they extinguish.
  3. Remove the lamb from the roasting tray and carefully lay, fat side down, directly over the coals. Sear for about 4 minutes, then
  4. flip it over, and sear again for a further 4 minutes. Now, slide the meat over to the opposite side of the BBQ, fat side up, away from the coals, and close the lid. Put in a fist-size chunk of smoking wood, any fruit variety or oak works well directly on the coals. A piece of lamb that weighs 2kg will take about 1 hour or so for a nice medium rare. After an hour, insert an instant-read thermometer, and if it reads 52-54°C, your lamb is ready. Carefully remove and allow the lamb to rest, covered loosely in foil, for 20 minutes. Resting phase is important and will continue to cook during this period.
  5. To make the Kentucky mop sauce, heat all the ingredients with 150ml water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. There’s a lot of vinegar in this, so be careful of the fumes. Allow to simmer gently for around 15-20 minutes, until reduced by about a third and thickened to a loose gravy consistency. It is a pungent sauce, but trust us, it really works with lamb, mutton or hogget. Season to taste.
  6. To serve, thinly slice the lamb and arrange on a serving plate or tray. Drizzle some sauce over the slices of lamb and serve the rest of the sauce on the side for extra dipping.


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