BBQ lamb tacos with pineapple pickle and chutney

Print Recipe

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with the flat of a knife
4 limes, 1 zested, the rest cut into 8 wedges each
100ml white-wine vinegar
Salt
1 medium pineapple, trimmed, peeled, quartered lengthways and cored
¼ small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced 
1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into julienne strips
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp Chinese five spice
1 dried habanero chilli (or to taste)
700g lamb neck fillet, cut into 12cm-wide pieces (depending on the size of your fillet, you’ll end up with 2 or 3)
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
15g coriander leaves, finely sliced
About 15 corn or wheat tortillas

With tacos, I like to pile all the various elements on a big platter, so everyone can make their own. You can make the pickle a day or two ahead.


Serves two to four.

Method

Start with the pickle. Put one garlic clove, the lime zest, vinegar and 100ml water in a small saucepan on a medium heat, add half a teaspoon of salt and heat for two minutes, until simmering gently. Take off the heat, leave to cool, then tip into a medium plastic container for which you have a lid. Cut 150g pineapple into 4cm-long x 0.5cm-wide strips, and add these to the pickling liquor with the onion and red chilli. Cover and refrigerate for two to three hours, or even overnight.


Cut the remaining pineapple into rough chunks and put them in the small bowl of a food processor with the cumin, five spice, habanero, the remaining garlic clove and half a teaspoon of salt. Blitz to the consistency of a runny apple sauce, then tip into a large bowl and add the lamb, making sure it’s all submerged in the marinade. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for two to three hours (but no longer).


Half an hour before you are ready to cook, take the lamb bowl out of the fridge and scrape as much marinade off the meat as you can. Put all the marinade in a medium saucepan on a medium heat, add the honey and cook for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until thick and reduced to a texture resembling chutney: you should end up with about 200g.


Season the lamb with half a teaspoon of salt in total, and ventilate the kitchen. Put a large griddle pan on a high flame until it starts to smoke, add the oil, then griddle the pieces of lamb for eight to 10 minutes, turning them every few minutes, until charred all over. Transfer to a board and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes, then cut into 0.5cm-thick slices and season with more salt, this time with just a quarter teaspoon in total.


Melt the butter in a large, nonstick frying pan on a high heat, then fry the lamb slices for a minute on each side, until crisp and cooked through. Transfer to a board, scrape any pan fat or juices over the lamb, then cover with foil to keep warm.


Drain the pickled pineapple and onion (discard the garlic and lime peel, but keep the liquid: you may need it for any leftover pickle). Pile the meat on a platter or board, put the chutney and pickles into bowls and serve with coriander, lime wedges and a pile of warm tortillas.

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