Everyone’s favourite Italian, Gino D’Acampo shares with us his alternative to turkey this Christmas – and you don’t even need the oven!

Barbecued leg of lamb with chilli, honey, rosemary and garlic

Cosciotto di agnello al barbeque  con peperoncino, miele, rosmarino e aglio

Barbecued lamb just doesn’t get better than this. When Italians barbecue, we don’t use overpowering sauces or rubs, but instead stick to traditional herbs and other ingredients that enhance the flavours of the meat. If you prefer, the meat can be cooked in the oven at 200°C/gas mark 6 for 40–45 minutes. Serve with a tomato and red onion salad.

Serves 6–8

1 leg of lamb (2kg), deboned and


5 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

20g fresh rosemary leaves

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 fresh, medium-hot red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

2 tablespoons runny honey

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon



1. Light the barbecue. Meanwhile, make shallow incisions in the lamb on the skin side with a small, sharp knife, leaving a 3cm gap between each incision. Push a garlic slice and a few rosemary leaves into each cut. The lamb will take about half the rosemary. Brush the lamb with the oil and season with salt.

2. When the barbecue is ready (the coals will be covered in a fine greyish white ash), put the lamb on the barbecue. Cook for 15 minutes, turning it over every 5 minutes until nicely charred (and turning it over if it starts to catch).

3. Meanwhile, make the basting sauce. Strip the remaining leaves from the rosemary, reserving the stalks, and finely chop the leaves. Put them in a small bowl and add the chillies, honey, vinegar and lemon juice. Stir to combine.

4. Move the lamb to a raised rack on the barbecue and throw the reserved rosemary stalks onto the direct heat underneath the lamb.

5. Brush the lamb with half the sauce and put the lid on the barbecue. Cook for 10 minutes, turning if necessary. Brush over the remaining sauce and cook for a further 5–10 minutes or until the lamb is cooked as you like it.

6. Remove the lamb from the barbecue, cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving into slices.

Recipe taken from the new cookbook accompanying the ITV series Gino’s Italian Escape.Join Gino on his culinary journey along the picturesque Adriatic coast. The newest cookery book, from everyone’s favourite Italian chef, explores the cuisine of the beautiful East coast of Italy. A celebration of the finest recipes from the Adriatic coast, this cookbook makes Italian cooking simple. It includes everything from fresh seafood to delicious pasta, vegetarian options to meat dishes, and the exquisite photography is guaranteed to give you wanderlust.

Gino’s Italian Adriatic Escape includes all of the mouth-watering recipes from the accompanying major ITV series, as well as introducing us to some new delicious Italian recipes which are perfect for a meal for one or a family feast.




Gino’s Italian Escape

Thursday’s 8:30pm


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