Grilled Lamb with cucumber salad & garlic sauce

      It's Easter this weekend, and that means it's time for a feast. For many families, Easter dinner is all about lamb, so today I'm posting a recipe for grilled lamb T-bones. Now that winter is gone and spring is officially here, it's a good time to fire up the barbecue and get grilling.
     Because of their small size, lamb T-bones are perfect for sharing family style. Grill 2-3 pieces per person and serve them in the centre of the table with grilled eggplant, garlic sauce and cucumber salad. The garlic sauce is simply made from pureed garlic with a bit of milk, olive oil & lemon juice. The flavour of the garlic is softened by first boiling the garlic in milk. The cucumber salad adds a refreshing crunch and is also very simple: just cucumber, olive oil and lemon juice. Another good side dish to go with this would be some roasted potatoes. For the cucumber salad, I like to use small Lebanese cucumbers because of their wonderfully crunchy texture. If they are unavailable, an English cucumber will do.    

Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time 20 minutes. Serves 6

12-18 lamb T-bones
2 Lebanese cucumbers
1 lemon
8 cloves fresh garlic
1 1/2 cups milk
2 large eggplants
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
salt, pepper, olive oil

Preheat the barbecue to medium-high heat

1. To make the garlic sauce: in a small sauce pot, combine the garlic and the milk. Gently simmer for 10 minutes and then strain, reserving the milk. In a blender, purée the garlic with 1/4 cup milk, the juice of 1/4 lemon & 2 tbs olive oil.

2. For the cucumber salad: finely dice the cucumber and then mix with the juice of 1/2 lemon & 2 tbs olive oil. Season with salt & pepper.

3. Cut the eggplant into thick slices lengthwise, season with salt and pepper and toss with 2 tbs balsamic vinegar and 4 tbs olive oil. Place on the grill and cook until nicely browned on each side, about 2 minutes per side.

4. Season the lamb T-bones with salt & pepper. Grill the T-bones until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes per side. For chops that are thicker than 1/2", close the lid and let the lamb cook for another 5 minutes. For medium lamb, cook until the internal temperature reaches 70C (160F)

5. Serve the lamb and eggplant on a plater, with bowls of the cucumber salad and garlic sauce on the side.


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