About 6 months ago I experimented for the first time with marinated rare roast lamb. I usually slow roast lamb and felt the need to try it rare. Oh my word! It was so tender and juicy I was sold immediately.
What I have done a few times since then is to rare roast deboned leg of lamb meat either on the braai or in the oven if the weather isn’t great. Then set up a table with pita’s, roast veggies and a yoghurt drizzle and let people fill their own pita’s.
It’s a great twist on a traditional braai and also great for winter when you want the braai vibe but the weather isn’t playing ball.
Grilled Lamb and Roast Veg Pitas
Serves 4 (increase quantities as needed)
400g piece of well-trimmed lamb loin or a piece of deboned leg
Juice and zest of ½ a lemon
2 Tbsp. oil
20 rosemary leaves, bruised
1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
125ml of plain yoghurt
6 chopped mint leaves
1/8 tsp. of cumin
1/4 tsp. of salt
8 cups of cubed roasting veggies (butternut, onion, peppers, carrots, courgettes, aubergine etc.)
1 Tbsp. oil
20 rosemary leaves
½ tsp. of salt
4 – 6 pitas depending on who might want seconds ;-)
Wash the meat and pat it dry with kitchen roll. Mix together the lemon juice, zest, oil, garlic and rosemary in a container small enough to snuggly hold the meat. Coat the meat with the marinade and leave it for about 2 hours if you can (shorter is fine if you don’t have the time).
Pre heat your oven on grill and place the rack in the centre of the oven.
Select the veggies you like to roast and dice them into pieces of about 1cm – 1.5 cm. This is so that they can easily fit into the pitas. Combine the veggies with the oil, salt and rosemary, in a bowl, tossing them until they are covered with oil. Spread them out onto a baking tray and place them in the oven. They should take about 15 minutes to roast. Every 5 minutes or so, check them to see that they are not blackening too much and turn them with a spatula if they are. Remove them from the oven and set aside.
If you are not braai’ing the lamb, get the oven as hot as possible and on grill. Move the rack as close to the element on top but naturally not so that the meat touches it. Remove the meat from the marinade and place on a baking tray in the oven. The meat should need about 7 – 8 minutes per side for a 400g piece of meat if the oven is at the correct temperature i.e. scorching hot. You need to turn the meat so it grills on both sides. The lamb is best served medium rare. Up the cooking time by two minutes per side if you prefer it well done. Remove the meat and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Lightly salt the lamb after slicing.
Toast the pitas in the oven until they puff up. Slice a hole about 1/3 of the way along the edge of the pita and with the knife loosen the inside creating a pocket. Layer roast veggies, yoghurt sauce and lamb evenly in the pita and serve immediately.