Barbecued lamb breast with malt vinegar sauce

  • medium
  • 4
  • 20 minutes

Helen Graves' barbecued lamb breast recipe sees the meat covered in an aromatic spice rub and cooked low and slow over hot coals, though if the weather isn't playing ball feel free to slow-cook in the oven. The ribs are served with a malt vinegar sauce, based on the famous recipe from Alabama, but with a smattering of fresh herbs.

First published in 2017

This is a riff on southern American barbecue but I’ve given it a British twist. The rub is made with white pepper, mustard powder and bay leaves and the sauce is based on an Alabama vinegar sauce. I love it because you can really taste the malt vinegar. It’s a thin sauce, which you can either pour onto the ribs or (my preference) use for dipping.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Lamb breast

Spice rub

Malt vinegar sauce

  • 200ml of malt vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp of mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of tarragon, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 6 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Equipment

  • Barbecue with a lid

Method

1
These ribs are best slow cooked on a barbecue but of course can still be slow cooked in an oven at 160°C/gas mark 3 for 2.5–3 hours. If cooking on a barbecue, set up a kettle barbecue for indirect cooking
2
Blend all the rub ingredients together and rub all over the lamb
3
Place the lamb belly, skin-side down, on the opposite side of grill to the coals and pop the lid on. Set the air flow to 1/4 open at the base and leave a small crack (2mm) in the vent holes on the lid
4
Cook for 3 hours, the heat will initially be around 200°C but will drop through the cooking and settle at about 120°C for the bulk of the cooking. You should turn the belly every 45 minutes
5
To make the dipping sauce, add the sugar and finely chopped herbs to the vinegar and give it a good stir until the sugar has dissolved
  • 200ml of malt vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp of mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of tarragon, leaves picked and finely chopped
6
Add the mayo and whisk until it's incorporated. Add the Worcestershire sauce and give it a final whisk
  • 4 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 6 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
7
Once the ribs are cooked, remove from the barbecue, allow to cool a little and chop them roughly. Pour over about 1/2 of the sauce, if you like, retaining the other half for dipping
First published in 2017

Helen Graves is Head of Content at Great British Chefs. She's also the author of the cookbook LIVE FIRE: Seasonal Barbecue Recipes and Stories of Live Fire Traditions, Old and New, and the editor of Pit, an independent magazine with roots in live fire cooking.

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