BBQ: Greek style whole lamb

There is something very primal about cooking an entire animal in one go.  It also requires a lot of time, patience and beer to do correctly.

Ingredients

  • 15kg whole lamb
  • 12 lemons
  • 24+ beers

Animal selection & preparation

The most critical is to select an appropriate animal for cooking.  For most of us, this means speaking with your local butcher in advance so that they can find you the perfect beast.  For this recipe, I am using a 15kg spring lamb.  This is about as big as I could manage on the 120cm spit roasting pole that I am using.

Its also important to name your lamb.  Here we have "Lambert", sitting on the counter at my local butcher.  As a ball park cost, Lambert cost me about $120.

Attaching your beast to the pole is tricky.  Essentially the pole goes through the upper chest of your beast, then out its rectum.  Hooks go through the animal's spine and the pole to keep him securely attached to the pole, while its legs are hooked through the attachment.  

Place 3 or 4 cut up lemons into the body cavity and stitch him up.

In my case I didn't have any proper butcher's string or wire, so I cut up coat hangers and bent them with pliers which actually worked really well.

With your beast on the pole, all stitched up its time for the hardest part of the cook, ensuring that the lamb is properly balanced on the pole.  Once you have moved the pole onto the barbecue, start the motor up to ensure that it spins evenly.  If the weighting is not correct, your beast will "fall" down one side then get stuck as the rotisserie tries to lift the heavier side.  This will not only result in uneven cooking, but also potentially break your motor.

Rub salt and pepper all over your beast, so that as he cooks, the fat and juices have something to hang on to.

Fire

Start a nice big fire in your rotisserie, I personally try to start with paper and kindling, but if you feel like cheating then I guess you could use fire lighters.

 

Cooking

You will want to set aside at least 6 hours to cook your lamb (12-14 beers).  "Low and Slow" is always the best for cooking any meat, and it's doubly true for doing a whole animal in one go!

Prepare a big bowl of oil and lemon in approximately even quantities.  I'd start with about 6 lemons and an equal portion of oil.  Season liberally with salt and pepper and oregano.

Cook the lamb, basting each 20 minutes (or every second beer).

Keep in mind that as you cook, the lamb will crack and shift.  This means that it may become unbalanced on the spit, so you will have to keep a keen eye on it (well as keen as your beer goggles will allow).


For extra authenticity and to impress your friends, start basting the lamb with a bunch of basil.

 


 

Carving

Carving the lamb is surprisingly friend’s enjoyable (although the hundred beers consumed may have played a role).  The key is to avoid cutting your freinds fingers off as they try to sneak a taste of the delicious, succulent meat. 

We all enjoyed Lambert on pita bread complete with tomato, lettuce, onion, garlic sauce, chilli sauce and of course, more lemon!

BBQ: Apple City BBQ Sauce

This recipe is taken from Peace Love and Barbecue and modified by me (basically to make it hotter!).  I may be biassed, but this is by far the most delicious BBQ sauce I have been lucky enough to taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tomato sauce (Masterfoods)
  • 2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Bulmers Apply Cider
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup raw brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 table spoon American mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder (or more if you dare)
  • 1/2 cup Bacon bits, ground fine
  • 1/2 cup finely grated apple
  • 1/3 cup finely grated onion

Directions

Combine all ingredients aside from apple and onion in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Slowly add apple and onion and simmer for about 20 minutes to thicken.

BBQ: Magic Dust

"Magic Dust" is just that, magic.  This paprika based dry rub is the default preparation for just about any meat, from pork to chicken or beef (probably wouldn't work so well with lamb however).

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of paprika
  • 1/4 cup of freshly ground salt
  • 1/4 cup of raw, unprocessed sugar
  • 1/3 cup of cumin
  • 3 tablespoons of mustard powder
  • 3 tablespoons of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon of chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons of bacon bits (crushed)

Directions

Place bacon bits in a mortar and pestle and grind until a fine powder.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix together.

Thats it!

BBQ: Tezza's Ribs

Its a little known fact that BBQ ribs are the most delicious food in the world.  The following recipe is mostly stolen from the "Apple City Barbecue Grand World Championship Ribs" recipe found in Peace Love and Barbecue.

Ingredients

Directions

Ribs

Build a nice fire and burn down coals until white hot.  Around 20-30 large coals should do the trick.  With the BBQ lid closed, the temperature should stabilize at about 100 degrees centigrade.

Place wood chips in a bucket of warm water, and a splash of apple cider vinegar.

With a sharp knife, clean up the ribs, removing any excess fat or dangly bits.  Cover ribs with the magic dust and set aside for 30 minutes.

Place ribs on the BBQ bone side down, cooking over indirect heat (e.g. move the coals from being under the meat).  Add a handful of the wet chips to start the smoking.

Cook ribs for about 6 hours, turning each hour or so.

In the last 10 minutes of cooking, lather top side of the ribs with the BBQ sauce and leave for about 10 minutes, before doing the other side and leaving for a further 10 minutes.

Remove from the grill, adding more BBQ sauce and leave to rest for about 10 minutes.

I had every intention of photographing the final result, but they looked too damn good, so I just ate them instead.