Marinated barbecue lamb with shallot marmalade, served with griddled vegetables

This fresh and fragrant meal, from Gordon Ramsay, is perfect for entertaining friends or a really special family meal. It's a step-by-step guide to help you get the best result

Serves 4
Preparation time 1 hr
Cooking time 20 mins
Plus marinating


4 cannons of lamb (see Choosing your meat, below), about 170g-200g each
approx 350ml olive oil
2 bulbs fennel (trimmed, use fennel tops in marinade)
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 bunch (about 250g) asparagus
2 red peppers (Gordon used Romano)
6-8 sprigs thyme
4 slices sour dough bread


juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 fat garlic clove , crushed or finely chopped
fennel tops, from above, chopped
handful mint leaves, roughly chopped


8 shallots , halved and sliced
4 fat garlic cloves , sliced
3cm cube fresh root ginger , peeled and grated
1 tsp mild curry powder
2 tsp golden caster sugar
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
3-4 tbsp crème fraîche


1. Make the marinade - in a bowl, whisk together 150ml olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, fennel tops and mint, a good pinch sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.

2. Pour half the marinade into a long dish, sit the lamb on top and cover with the remaining marinade. Set aside for at least 30 mins so that the flavours develop.

3. Heat a frying pan over a high heat, add the shallots, garlic, ginger, curry powder, sugar, 4 tbsp oil and fry for 2-3 mins, stirring until caramelised. Turn down heat and add leaves from 4 thyme sprigs. Season and cook on medium heat for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally.

4. Deglaze with wine vinegar, cook for another 5 mins, then stir in the crème fraîche and cook 2-3 mins. You should have a creamy soft mixture. Set aside to cool. The marmalade will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

5. Lightly trim the fennel roots, then quarter and cut each bulb into 8 wedges. Slash each wedge down the centre almost to the root. Lay on a plate, drizzle with a little oil and the balsamic vinegar. Season lightly.

6. For the asparagus, cut off woody ends on the diagonal, then split each spear down the centre almost to the tips. Drizzle with a little oil and season well.

7. For the peppers, remove stalk, slit open, remove seeds and ribs, then open out and cut into long 2cm-thick strips.

8. Sprinkle the bread slices with crushed salt, more thyme leaves and lightly drizzle some oil. Set all the vegetables and bread aside.

9. Lift meat from the marinade and lightly shake to remove any excess marinade. Place on the hot griddle (take care, as the griddle will flame up) and cook 6-7 mins each side, moving to the side of the grill if they start to burn. Press meat with the back of a fork to check for doneness (see Gordon's tips, below). I serve my lamb medium rare. Allow 2 mins extra each side for well done. Remove cooked meat and leave to rest for 10 mins.

10. Griddle vegetables starting with the fennel, allowing 3 mins each side until chargrilled and lightly softened. Then cook asparagus for 4-5 mins turning once, the pepper strips (3-4 mins) and finally the bread until lightly toasted. Slice the meat thinly lengthways. Spread the toast with shallot marmalade, top with the lamb and serve with the vegetables alongside.


Choosing your meat

Gordon used lean lamb cannons (long boned and trimmed loins - you can get them from a butcher) which he marinated first. Cooking the meat whole, rather than in cubes, keeps it juicier. For a budget cut, choose neck fillets. This recipe will also work with lamb leg steaks.

Cooking indoors

If it rains? Cook everything indoors on a large griddle pan.

Cook to perfection

To check the meat for 'doneness', press it with the back of a fork or your finger. Lamb cooked still slightly pink will be lightly bouncy. Always allow the meat to rest for a good 10 mins before slicing to serve. Gordon slices his meat with the grain, lengthways, not across it in rounds. For cuts of meat which need a longer cooking time, like chicken drumsticks or thighs, start them off in the oven, then then finish for the final 5 mins on the barbecue to ensure they don't burn.

Nutrition per serving
654 kcalories, protein 45g, carbohydrate 44g, fat 33 g, saturated fat 10g, fibre 7g, salt 1.11 g

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2006.

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