Whole Roasted Lamb w/ chimichurri Recipe

Whole Roasted Lamb w/ chimichurri Recipe


1 spring lamb 35lb

roasting spit

2 pairs bbq gloves

latex gloves

large cleaver


For Mint chimichurri

1 bunch spring garlic

2 bunches mint

1 bunch Italian parsley

2 tbsps. piementon dulce

1 tbsp. espelette chili

4 garlic cloves

1 large shallot

2 c sherry vinegar

1 lemon, zest & juice

2 c California extra virgin olive oil

sea salt to taste


basting liquid

4 c water

2 c white wine

6 tbsp. coriander seeds

6 tbsp. chili flake

2 tbsp. piementon

1 c salt

10 cloves garlic

3 bay leaves

1 bunch rosemary

1 bunch thyme

2 tbsp. cracked pepper

juice & zest of two Meyer lemons

½ c olive oil

rosemary sprigs and butcher twine for basting brush.

Basting liquid

In a large heavy bottomed 5 quarts stock pot add water, wine, salt, garlic, fresh herbs and dry spices. Bring this mixture to a boil then remove from heat. Let this cool to room temperature then add lemon zest, juice and olive oil. Make a basting brush with rosemary sprigs and butcher twine.

For Mint Chimichurri

Hand chop: spring garlic, garlic, shallots, parsley and mint then reserve separately. in a large bowl add lemon juice, zest, sherry vinegar, piementon, espellete, chopped garlic, shallot, spring garlic and sea salt. Let this mixture marinate for 1 hour. After 1 hour stir in mint, parsley and olive oil. adjust seasoning.

Spring lamb roast

With a heavy cleaver open lamb at back bone at rear and front legs to receive roasting spit. Place lateral spits on front and rear legs securing with bailing wire at feet. Place horizontal spit through guides on lateral spits. Pound lateral spit guides into the ground roughly two feet away from camp fire, taking care to perfectly measure the distance between guides. This step is of the ut-most importance to ensure easy placement and turning of your bbq. Start your fire with 25 lbs. of oak wood. Let the fire catch and burn down about half way before you place lamb in to the spit guides. Place lamb into position - skin side away from the fire. Using your rosemary brush baste your lamb with your basting liquid every 15 minutes. Add logs to the fire every hour to keep an even fire. The roasting time will be 3 to 4 hours in total. You will need to turn your lamb once roughly ¾ of the way through your bbq. There are many variables involved with a whole animal roast, i.e. fire, wind, time so take care to keep your fire low and place the lamb in the correct position in the beginning making sure that the wind isn’t blowing the fire into your bbq. This is a long process but the end result is the most delicious roasted lamb experience you have ever enjoyed.

To finish

Line large picnic table with a disposable plastic table cloth and place lamb on it.  Cut off wire with wire cutters and discard. Remove spits and cover with aluminum foil to rest for 30 minutes. Cut lamb into sections. At this point its easiest to pull the meat apart with your hands. I use two pairs of latex cloves to protect my hands. Place your roasted lamb on several very large plates with your chimichurri on the side. garnish your plates with large branches of rosemary and spring garlic.