Chefs Julie Savage and Gerard Devine of Avoca’s Belfast store share some seasonal treats from the shop’s latest cookery book
What you'll need
A large leg of lamb, boned and butterflied
for the Wicklow herb marinade
3 sprigs rosemary, chopped
8-10 sprigs thyme, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
Good handful mint, chopped
3tbsp olive oil
for the Moroccan-style marinade
Juice and rind of 3 lemons
4tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 red chilli, finely diced
1 bunch coriander, chopped
2tbsp ground cumin
2tbsp ground coriander
2tbsp ground turmeric
1tbsp ground cinnamon
Ask your butcher to bone and butterfly the leg of lamb for you (which he will do by making horizontal cut and flattening the meat in a butterfly shape). Cut it into two equal pieces, trim off any excess skin or fat, make a few incisions in the flesh with the point of a sharp knife and place in either one of the two marinades. Cover with clingfilm and transfer to the fridge overnight.
The next day, cook the lamb on the barbecue or in the oven at 200°C/gas 6/400°F for the first 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 170°C/gas 3/325°F and cook for a further 20-25 minutes if you like your lamb pink, 10 minutes longer if you like it well done.
To make the marinades, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
To make mint sauce to accompany the Wicklow marinade, mix three quarters of the chopped mint with two tablespoons of vinegar and one dessertspoon of caster sugar in a small bowl, add eight dessertspoons of boiling water and allow to sit for 10 minutes. When cooled, add the remaining mint.
To make tzatziki to accompany the Moroccan marinade, grate a peeled whole cucumber, add a pinch of salt and place it in a colander to drain for 15 minutes then mix in 125g Greek yoghurt, 1 crushed clove of garlic and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add two tablespoons of chopped mint and mix well.
A Year at Avoca is available from Avoca in Arthur Street, Belfast, £21.95