Buying and cooking a whole leg of lamb can feel a little intimidating – it’s such a large cut of meat, and it’s not the cheapest lamb cut available. So, do you choose bone-in or boneless? Shank on or off? Marinade or no marinade? In this post, we’re going to go through some important things you need to know about buying and cooking leg of lamb.
Boneless or bone-in?
We recommend buying a lamb leg with the bone in, as this will guarantee a fantastic, juicy flavour. A bone-in leg can be a little difficult to carve, but don’t stress – this video shows you how to do it. Boneless leg of lamb is delicious too, so if you’re too sure about carving a bone-in roast, there’s no shame in going boneless.
Shank on or off?
Lamb leg is most commonly sold without the shank attached. However, you can ask your butcher to leave the shank on. Why would you want the shank? Well, some people like to leave it on because it looks traditional and has great flavour and texture.
At the butcher
Ask the butcher for a whole leg of lamb (boneless or bone-in, shank on or off), and make sure that they have trimmed it to your liking. Leaving some external fat will insulate the meat and keep it tender while cooking, so don’t feel like you need to have it completely trimmed.
Marinade or no marinade?
Lamb leg is a really flavoursome roast, so a marinade is not essential and is often a personal preference. It’s also great seasoned with herbs, salt, pepper and garlic.
Rare, medium or well?
Roast your lamb at around 180ºC for up to an hour (basting it occasionally with the juices that collect in the pan), or until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Here are the correct internal temperatures for your roast, which you can check with a meat thermometer:
- Rare 60ºC
- Medium rare 60-65ºC
- Medium 65-70ºC
- Medium well done 70ºC
- Well done 75ºC
As these are the final internal temperatures, you will need to remove your lamb from the oven just before it reaches your desired temperature, as the roast will continue to cook while resting.
Now that you know how to purchase and cook roast lamb, here are some recipes from Beef & Lamb to get your mouth watering:
- Roast leg of lamb with olive sauce and radicchio salad
- Lamb leg roast with chilli mint sauce
- Roast leg of lamb with mustard and rosemary
- Garlic and oregano roast lamb
Cedric Walter Hot Roast Lamb
Want to experience the deliciousness of roast lamb but don’t have time to cook? We’ve recently introduced our range of Cedric Walter Ready-Cooked Hot Roast Lamb, which you can buy from the roast chicken section of your local Woolworths!
The information in this post is adapted from Kitchn and Australian Beef.