Recipe: Jenny’s Famous Butterflied Barbecue Lamb

NZ Life & Leisure’s food editor shares an early-summer favourite from her new cookbook, Homecooked.

Words & recipes: Lucy Corry  Styling & photo: Carolyn Robertson

This recipe, from my wonderful sister-in-law Jenny Corry, is world-famous in my family. Stick rigidly to the instructions to end up with perfectly cooked lamb. The varying thickness of the joint means that some bits will be well done, others delectably pink.

Jenny’s Famous Butterflied Barbecue Lamb

Serves: 6 to 8


3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 small red chillies, finely chopped (include the seeds)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup malt vinegar
1 butterflied (boned-out) leg of lamb


Mix the oil, soy sauce, garlic, chillies, brown sugar and vinegar together, then pour the dressing over the lamb (in a large, flat dish). Massage it in, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 48 hours. Bring to room temperature (take it out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking), then barbecue over medium-high heat for 17 minutes per side exactly. Rest for 10 minutes, then carve. Serve with Minted Garlic Yoghurt and/or Date, Chilli & Red Pepper Salsa.

Date, Chilli & Red Pepper Salsa

Makes: about 2½ cups. Serves: 6 to 8

It might sound unlikely, but this is brilliant with barbecued meats (especially lamb) and adds an X-factor to any festive leftovers, even a sandwich. Allow at least 30 minutes for the flavours to meld before serving.

Put 1 cup dried dates, finely chopped, 1 large red pepper, diced, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger, 1 large green or red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, ½ cup finely chopped fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley, 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 small banana, diced, in a bowl and toss together. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes before using. If making ahead, cover and store in the fridge until ready to use. This is best eaten within two days.

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Minted Garlic Yoghurt

Makes: about 1¼ cups. Serves: 6 to 8

In a bowl, put 1 small clove garlic, crushed to a paste with ½ teaspoon salt, 4 spring onions, finely chopped, finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon sumac. Stir well to combine, then mix in 1 cup greek yoghurt and ¼ cup finely shredded fresh mint leaves. Taste for seasoning. This can be made in advance and stored, tightly covered, in the fridge for a couple of days before using.

Lucy Corry is an award-winning New Zealand writer and has been NZ Life & Leisure’s Taste editor since 2018. Her latest book, Homecooked: Seasonal Recipes for Every Day, published by Penguin, is out now, RRP$55.

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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