Summer Barbeques

With Adam Mulholland, co-owner of The Butcher’s Block and Smokehouse Wanaka

Words by Kate Gordon-Smith


As summer heats up, plenty of us enjoy a barbeque meal outdoors with family and friends. We went to the barbecue meat experts at The Butcher’s Block to find out what they like to grill and slow cook on the barbeque.

Adam Mulholland co-owns The Butcher’s Block and Smokehouse with fellow Wanaka local Jeff Smith. A keen hunter, Adam’s barbeques often involve wild venison or pork, but when he hasn’t had time to get out into the mountains, he’s got a few favourites among the great array of locally-farmed beef and lamb sourced from the McCarthys of Ardmore Farm in Hawea Flat and available for everyone through The Butcher’s Block.

Adam shares his barbeque favs.


Tip #1: always remember to have your meat at room temp before cooking and allow to rest 5-15 minutes.

BBQ Leg of Lamb

If you have a covered barbeque, it’s easy to enjoy a roast leg of lamb using an indirect, medium heat, around 180°C.

A basic guide to the time needed to cook an approx. 2.5kg bone-in leg of lamb to medium is to allow one minute per millimetre when you measure the leg through its thickest part. For example, if the leg is 90mm thick, cook for 90 minutes. If you prefer medium-rare, cook for less time. Around 1¼ to 1½ hours is usual.

Enjoy the classic flavours of garlic and rosemary with your lamb by cutting small slits all over the roast and poking slices of fresh garlic and rosemary sprigs into the slits.

The Rum & Que Ram Rod rub we have in-store is another flavoursome option. Sprinkle the rub over the whole leg of lamb and leave in the fridge for a few hours for the flavours to develop. Rub some olive oil over the lamb before you put it on the barbeque.

Or here’s a great marinade to smother over the lamb and leave to marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Making a few cuts in the top of the meat allows the marinade to infuse nicely.

  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup minced fresh rosemary

  • ¼ minced fresh mint

  • 1 orange, zest and juice

  • 1 lemon, zest and juice

  • 8-10 garlic cloves, minced

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Then take lamb out of refrigerator 1 hour prior to cooking. Melt 100g of butter in a small saucepan. Drain the marinade from the lamb into the saucepan and simmer on low briefly to create your basting mix. Heat your barbeque using all burners for 15 minutes, then turn off the middle burner(s) and turn the outer burners to medium. Place lamb, fat-side up, the middle of your barbeque. Cook and baste every 15 minutes or so. Turn the roast over each time if you like. Cook for approx. an hour or until it reaches the temp below.

Tip #2: buy a digital meat thermometer if you love barbequing larger cuts of meat. Push the thermometer probe into the centre of the meat to test the temp and gauge doneness:
  • Rare: 49°C

  • Medium-rare: 54°C

  • Medium: 60°C

  • Medium-well: 66°C

  • Well Done: 68°C


Rack of lamb

A rack of lamb is a premium cut which is fast to cook on the barbeque. Prep the barbeque for indirect cooking over a high heat (230°C to 260°C). Lightly coat both sides of the rack with oil and apply a rub if you wish. You can also wrap the exposed bones with aluminium foil to protect the bones from burning, but it’s not essential. Roast the lamb over indirect high heat with the lid closed, for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.

Tip #3: cooking and resting a whole lamb rack before cutting into double cutlets to serve results in more succulent meat compared to cooking the cutlets individually.

Beef scotch cutlet

It’s no secret that cooking meat on the bone maintains great flavour which you’ll enjoy with one of our scotch cutlets. These are also called tomahawk steaks or bone-in ribeye.

Heat your barbeque to high, keeping an outside burner off. Season steaks generously with salt and pepper. Sear the steak for 3-4 minutes on each side, then move the steaks off the direct heat to finish cooking.

Tip #4: Look and feel are other ways to determine doneness when cooking a steak:
  • Rare – looks red in the middle, feels very soft to touch

  • Medium-rare – deep red to pink in the middle, soft to touch with slight resistance

  • Medium – light pink in the middle, in-between firm and soft to touch

  • Medium-well – light pink with greying on edges, firm with some resistance

  • Well – sorry, we’re not going there with a premium scotch cutlet!

Want to take your scotch cutlet to a whole new level? Look up reverse searing. It’s awesome, especially if using the Bulldust rub from Rum & Que.


A final tip #5: you’ll know meat on the barbeque (or a pan) is ready to turn when it releases easily from the grill (or pan).

See Adam, Jeff and the team at The Butcher’s Block and Smokehouse for a full array of prime meats for your barbeque meals. Every kind of beef steak for all budgets as well as lamb leg, pork fillet and chicken steaks; freshly-made lamb, beef and chicken kebabs; marinated chicken wings and nibbles; and, of course, their handmade real meat sausages.