Marinated Lamb Backstrap BBQ

Lamb backstrap
Cultura RM Exclusive/BRETT STEVENS / Getty Images
Prep: 2 hrs
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1472 Calories
102g Fat
55g Carbs
94g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 1472
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 102g 131%
Saturated Fat 35g 174%
Cholesterol 335mg 112%
Sodium 1120mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 12g 42%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 94g
Vitamin C 195mg 976%
Calcium 369mg 28%
Iron 12mg 66%
Potassium 2025mg 43%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Lamb backstrap is a top-grade cut of lamb. It is lean yet full of flavor, and perfect for marinating, barbecuing, and grilling. This small boneless cut comes from the back of the lamb near the spine, an area that is not used much for movement, that’s why it’s so tender. In the United States and Australia, that cut of meat from the middle of the loin is also called eye of loin. 

This cut of lamb is a favorite in Moroccan cuisine, which served as the inspiration for this recipe. The lamb backstraps are marinated in a mixture of cumin, smoked paprika, cilantro, parsley, and garlic and then barbecued to perfection. Marinate the meat for at least two hours for up to 24 hours in the fridge. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it will be. The marinade is discarded.

After grilling the lamb to medium-rare, give it five minutes to rest off the heat but cover it well during that time. This rest period is important because the internal cooking temperature remains constant or rises. If you are unsure about it being done, use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature. The safe temperature for cooked lamb is 145 F as per USDA recommendations. 

Serve the meat with the with light refreshing cucumber-mint yogurt and lemon wedges. For side dishes, roasted potatoes or steamed bulgur or couscous go well with the grilled lamb.

If you have any leftover meat and cucumber yogurt, they make a tasty sandwich filling. You can also use them for a wrap or to stuff a pita bread like a Middle Eastern-style sandwich.



For Marinade:

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 1/2 pounds (600 grams) lamb backstraps

For Yogurt:

  • 3/4 cup natural yogurt

  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and chopped

  • 1 tablespoon mint, finely chopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 lemon, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients together in a large, non-reactive bowl. Add the lamb backstraps, and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

  2. Prepare the cucumber yogurt just before cooking the lamb. Combine yogurt, cucumber, mint, lemon juice, and salt together in a small bowl. Stir well, and set aside.

  3. Heat grill or barbecue on a high heat. Cook lamb backstraps on all sides until medium rare - about 8 to 10 minutes.

  4. Transfer lamb to a plate and cover loosely with foil for 5 minutes. After this time slice the lamb diagonally and then serve with cucumber yogurt and two lemon wedges.