I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

April 11, 2012

Spit Roasted Lamb

Well my Lovelies, I hope you had a great long weekend!

We had such a lovely time catching up with friends and brunching and lunching and relaxing, and cooking up a storm with our very own sheep on a spit.

Meet Frank the lamb. Well, that's what the butcher called him anyway so it just kinda stuck for the weekend until we changed it to Dinner. Which was so much better indeed.

This post doesn't include a recipe today, instead it's about the evolution of a raw animal into a delicious meal for those we love. I thought I'd share it with you as well, and hope you catch a glimpse of that love too.

As a basic rule-of-thumb, you should allow about 1kg of the whole raw lamb per person. This sounds a lot, but takes into account the weight of the bones and the amount you lose though fat etc- and leaves plenty of yummy leftovers too!

We placed Frank-the-lamb in the bathtub overnight, wrapped up well in wet cloths and nestled into a bed of ice. Sweet dreams Frank

Early the next morning we got the spit set up and the coals on. They need to be on at least an hour earlier than the meat so they have time to get well alight and really hot.

While this happens, get the lamb ready to go.

I think they're about the same size!

Just to prove it really is the sheep on the spit, not the doggy!

These are the bits and pieces that are needed to secure the lamb onto the spit arm well. We do NOT want it to slip off and into the gritty coals- yuck

Once on, the beastie needs to be sewn up to secure the cavity. This can handily be filled with branches of rosemary, bulbs of garlic, and whole lemons if you like. The meat can also be rubbed with flavourings now too.

Once every thing's in place and the lamb is positioned, you need lots of patience. Lots of it.
All that's required is some basting every half hour or so with vegetable oil, and coating with some flavoured salts and dried herbs, as well as monitoring and adding to the coals.

This little fellow took about 5 hours to cook through the way we like it.

The spit arm can be raised and lowered as required and we moved the coals around to place more heat where required from time to time. Also being careful once the fat starts to really render well and drip onto those hot coals and catching light if we're not careful!

Being short on table room, we elected to carve Frank on the spit arm. Brave men ignoring the heat and odd flame or two to get at the delectable meat, yummo!

The meat is so moist and just kissed with a lovely smokiness that you can't capture with an indoor oven, and fantastic crispy skin that's nearly as good as crackle! Frank was actually very lean with little fat at all, just enough under the skin to self baste nicely.

This is the rest of our feast.
Quinoa salad with pine nuts, dried apricots, herbs and dukkah
Tzatziki with grated cucumber and lots and lots and lots of garlic
Fresh salad with cucumber, tomatoes, and feta cheese
Roasted potatoes
Grilled antipasti with eggplant, artichokes and olives
Unleavened bread
Pomegranate Mint Sauce made with pomegranate molasses,pomegranate juice, pomegranate balsamic and mint

Our elegant Drinks Station with Pomegranate Punch

Autumn Pavlova with poached pears, dark chocolate ganache and hazelnut praline

We had such a lovely time with loads of fun, friends and of course lots of good food as well. I think any time spent with those you love is never wasted, it's just a shame that not all our family lives close enough to come along.

Now for those of you who can't see past chocolate for Easter, here's a sample of my stash. Haven't I got a family with great taste!

So my Dear Readers, what did you think of Frank the lamb, and what did you get up to this long weekend?


  1. Every time I have lamb on a spit I swoon as it's always so delicious although I've never had one called Frank :P We did a lot of relaxing and catching up with family and friends :)

    1. There is really nothing quite like the loveliness of a good spit. Sounds like you had a greaat weekend Lorraine :)

  2. Awesome... that wonderful smoky flavour and meat just falling off the bone. I can smell it now!

  3. What a fabulous Easter feast. I love a lamb on a spit. Your meal sounds and looks delicious from the drinks' station right through to the chocolate ganache pavlova. What a wonderful Easter. xx

    1. Thanks Charlie! We really did have a lovely time, and I'm so glad the fire engines didn't come to our celebrations as they did to yours :)

  4. Yum - that is one delicious looking feast! I would love to try lamb on a spit!

  5. Theres really nothing better than meat cooked on a spit. You cant get that flavour anywhere else. Love it :)

  6. Wow! I've never seen how you roast a whole animal! (My dad sometimes makes whole fish on the grill, but that's not the same! :P) I must admit I'd probably have a problem that his name was Frank. You know, makes him harder to eat ...

    1. Not quite the same, hey Kath :) When my parents had cows, we gave all the boys foodie type names to make it easier to reconcile with their eventual fate. Some names were Brisket, Stu and Stroganoff. They were all delicious :)

  7. So interesting to see this from every step, great post! I cannot wait to use our spit, although I really think we'll start off with smaller cuts of meat ;) Your Pomegranate punch sounds just divine. Oh & I am NOT a pavlova fan but what you've done with yours has made me want to lick the computer screen. Amazing.
    Heidi xo

    1. Thanks so much Heidi, this is certainly a change from the usual pavvie. Lucky you with a spit! I'm trying to talk my hubby into a pizza oven :)

  8. Dear InTolerant Chef,

    I think a lamb on the spit like that must be one of life's true pleasures! Add a few bottles of good wine, family and friends, I don't think I need anything else in the world. Thanks for sharing a beautiful meal and experience.

  9. I am SO hungry now. I've only had lamb on the spit once and it was devine. Yours looks even better.

    The pav brings tears to my eyes - it looks fantastic.

  10. What a feast! I've never seen how it was all done before, thank you for the photo story! x