Hepburns BBQ Butterflied Shoulder of Lamb, with Grilled Asparagus, Courgette and Red Onion Salad

A lot of people will be familiar with cooking a butterflied leg of lamb, especially over hot coals on the BBQ – but not so much when it comes to shoulder of lamb.

However, there is no reason why you shouldn’t approach this cut in the same way. In fact, once boned out (by one of our skilled butchers!) the shoulder is flatter than a leg and this all makes for a better proposition for quicker and even cooking.

Marinating always works well and we can help you with that too. But as the fat element is higher, the key is to keep turning the meat quickly to seal; and then finish off and cook the joint indirectly.

Until it is nice and juicy at medium.

Then whilst that is going on, you can get on with the business of grilling your vegetables for the salad.

Ingredients – serves 6-8 people

2kg Hepburns Shoulder of Lamb, butterflied

1 tbsp of dried Italian herbs (thyme, oregano, parsley and basil)

1 tbsp Smoked paprika

4 tbsp oil

1 tsp sea salt and black pepper

For the salad

3 courgettes, sliced lengthways and thinly

12 – 14 new season asparagus stalks

4 medium red onions, skin on

400g baby spinach leaves

2 lemons, sliced and quartered

1 tbs olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper, to season

Small bunch of fresh oregano, leaves picked and roughly chopped


First combine the herbs, paprika and salt and pepper with the oil and mix in bowl. Place the butterflied shoulder into a tray and pour over the marinade and rub into the meat. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.

On day of cooking, take the lamb shoulder out and bring to room temperature.

For the BBQ, light your charcoal, making sure that there is an empty space to the side for indirect cooking. Once the coals have turned white, place the butterflied shoulder over the heat and grill for about 10 minutes. You will need to turn it quite frequently as the fat will cause the flames to flare. Also put the onions on the grill alongside and turn them as the blacken.

After that, place the lamb over the indirect area and leave to cook through, turning occasionally. It should take a further 20 minutes or if you have a meat thermometer, until you reach an internal heat of 60-65°C. Rest for another 20 minutes.

Move the onions to one side to cool down (they should be quite burnt by now) and finish by quickly grilling the courgette slices and asparagus until soft – this should only take about 5 minutes. Also add the quarters of the lemon, to griddle and soften.

To make the salad, slice the onions in half and scoop out the smoky soft onion inside into a bowl. Chop up the courgettes and asparagus into large pieces and add, along with the baby spinach. Drizzle over some olive oil and season and then mix.

Arrange the salad on a platter for sharing and the slice up the shoulder of lamb and place on top.

Finish with a scattering of the chopped oregano and the lemon slices – these are to be squeezed over the lamb slices once you’ve got your portion!

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