Lamb and Goat Cheese Roulade

Summer has finally arrived and that means it time for grilling, or BBQ as we call it. For me grilling is strictly a charcoal thing, as a charcoal fire is hotter and imparts more flavor than a gas grill. Most grilling done in the Netherlands is very ‘low brow’, with cheap meat from the supermarket, with the lack of flavor masked by a reddish marinade. That is clearly not my kind of grilling. I like to use proper meat and pre-cook it sous-vide so it’s always cooked through, juicy and tender on the inside, and nicely browned on the outside. Since the meat is already cooked, visual inspection (i.e. using your eyes) is all that’s needed to decide when to remove the meat from the grill. Since I discovered last year that lamb and goat cheese go well together, I decided to make a roulade of lamb shoulder with goat cheese, pancetta, thyme, and balsamic vinegar. It turned out great!

Since I was doing the grilling on our boat out on the lake and there were some hungry diners, I didn’t bother with any fancy plating.


For 4 servings

450 grams (1 lb) boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of most of the fat and skin

about 40 grams (1.4 oz) goat cheese, softened

1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp aged balsamic vinegar

about 30 grams (1 oz) pancetta, thinly sliced

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Ask your butcher to butterfly the lamb and to pound it to a thickness of about 1 cm (1/2 inch). Lay out the meat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Combine the olive oil, thyme, and balsamic in a small bowl. Rub the meat with about half of this mixture.

Cover with the pancetta.

Spread out the goat cheese on top. It is nice to use goat cheese with flavor for this.

Roll up the meat into a roulade and secure with kitchen string.

Rub the outside of the roulade with the remaining thyme mixture.

Vacuum seal and cook sous-vide for 24 hours at 57C/135F.

After cooking sous-vide, pat the meat dry with paper towels. If you like you can make a sauce out of the bag juices.

Fire up a charcoal grill until they are so hot you cannot hold your hand above them longer than a few seconds. Brown the meat over the hot charcoal on all sides. If the meat has been allowed to cool off after cooking sous-vide, it is best to allow it to rest in a cool part of the grill to allow the center of the meat to warm up as well.

Slice the roulade, removing the kitchen string, and serve.

Wine pairing

This is great with pinot noir.


27 thoughts on “Lamb and Goat Cheese Roulade

  1. Lovely. The sous vide really helps the barbecue process. I barbecued a butterflied leg of lamb last night. I thad spent 24 hours marinading in cumin, mint and yoghurt. Despite the gas grill, it turned out pretty wonderful. Post to follow in due course.


  2. marvelous! I wish I had a charcoal grill. It is not allowed in our apartment complex, but growing up in my parents house, charcoal grilling was the rule. There are no gas grills in venezuela and if there are, people keep them well hidden hahaha, and we have summer almost all year round. Lots of grilling. Love your presentation. This looks delicious Stefan.


  3. Looks absolutely divine Stefan. Love the fact that you’ve used the sous vide in advance – guaranteed perfect, tender ‘doneness’ in the centre of the lamb!


  4. Well, I may not be able to use the ‘sous-vide’ method but I very much like the treatment you have given my favourite meat and the favorite part thereof. Shall copy. Also like Conor’s marinade. Of course Down Under terminology is different 😉 ! If you cook outside it is ‘barbecue’, if inside – heat from above or below ’tis ‘grill’! C’est tout 🙂 ! We don’t know about ‘grilling’ outside 😀 !


    1. Your terminology is the same as what we use in NL. I’m trying to stick to US terminology and spelling on my blog to my best ability as most of my readers are from the US. So I write about bell peppers rather than capsicums, etc.


  5. You’re so right about charcoal vs. gas grills, Stefan. I really miss my charcoal grill. This sounds like a fantastic way to prepare lamb and I agree that goat cheese was the was the right choice. Combining it’s flavor with those of the lamb and pancetta and that must have been a very delicious roast. You certainly treated your fellow passengers very well.


  6. Lovely roulade, Stefan, with impeccable technique once again. You definitely get the most out of your sous vide setup.
    We have a gas grill and the smoker has a 2 ft offset fire box we use for charcoal/mesquite wood grilling. Both have their applications. My gas grill has an infrared element which gets very close to the same heat as charcoal. It’s also much quicker to get hot. Because of its ease of use and I hardly ever cook red meat, we opt for the gas grill most of the times. If I am looking for real depth of flavor and character, I like to get dried mesquite wood and bring it down to coals and then grill over the coals.


    1. Thanks, Richard. The ease of use and speed of heating up are important pros of the gas grill. It sounds like with the infrared element it actually is a pretty good substitute.


  7. Looks great, I’m making this for Easter tomorrow (already prepped), with a sharp radish ‘carpaccio’ as a starter and garlicky white beans to go with it.

    The gas grill vs. charcoal grill controversy is interesting. I agree with @richardmcgary – both kinds of grill have their uses. During the week I often come home late from woork and have to cook just for myself. Last spring and summer I very often just gas-grilled some vegetables from the garden (in spring: radishes, asparagus, kohlrabi, lettuce and later zucchini and other squah, tomatoes, peppers, etc. with some herbs and oil and then ate that with pasta or good bread. It’s much better than frying and I would have never had the energy to light the charcoal grill.
    Charcoal grilling and smoking are wonderful options for situations with more time (hmmmm, I love pulled pork, briskjet, and all the other long-smoked barbecue dishes.)

    The lamb from this recipe will be grilled on charcoal tomorrow, I promise 🙂
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The roulade turned out really nice. I liked the goat cheese ‘kick’ and the very tender meat with the smoky crust. We’ll definitely make something like this again! Thank you for the recipe.


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