Cooking leg of lamb is the perfect way to add delicious flavor to your dinner table. While this cut of meat may seem intimidating to some home cooks, it’s actually quite easy to prepare. By following a few simple steps, you can create a succulent and juicy leg of lamb every time.
Before we dive into how to cook leg of lamb, it’s important to understand the different cuts you may encounter at the grocery store. The most common choice for leg of lamb is the bone-in leg. This cut includes the shank bone as well as a round bone on the top of the leg. However, you may also find boneless leg of lamb or the smaller, bone-in lamb sirloin roast.
Once you’ve selected your cut of lamb, the next step is to prepare it for cooking. Start by trimming any excess fat and silver skin from the meat. Then, use a sharp knife to create slits in the lamb. These slits will help the marinade or seasoning penetrate the meat, creating more flavor.
Speaking of flavor, there are numerous ways to add delicious taste to your leg of lamb. Some popular options include a garlic and herb rub, a simple salt and pepper rub, or a marinade made from lemon and rosemary. No matter what you choose, it’s essential to let your lamb rest in the seasoning for at least a few hours, or even overnight, for maximum flavor.
When it comes time to cook your leg of lamb, there are several methods to choose from. One popular option is roasting in the oven, while another is grilling. Both methods can produce delicious and tender meat, it’s really a matter of personal preference.
To roast your lamb in the oven, preheat your oven to 350°F. Place your seasoned leg of lamb in a roasting pan, fatty side up. Place the pan in the oven and roast for approximately 20 minutes per pound for a bone-in leg or 15 minutes per pound for a boneless leg. Check the internal temperature of the lamb with a meat thermometer to ensure it has reached at least 145°F for medium rare, 160°F for medium, or 170°F for well done.
If you prefer to grill your leg of lamb, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Once your lamb is seasoned, place it on the grill, fatty side up. Grill for approximately 15 minutes per pound for a bone-in leg or 10 minutes per pound for a boneless leg. Again, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure doneness.
No matter which cooking method you choose, it’s important to let your lamb rest before carving. When you remove the lamb from the oven or grill, tent it with foil and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicy and flavorful final product.
When it’s time to carve your leg of lamb, start by cutting against the grain. For a bone-in leg, remove the shank bone first and then cut against the leg bone. For a boneless leg, simply slice against the grain, creating thin pieces of meat.
Whether you’re hosting a special occasion or just looking for a delicious way to switch up your dinner routine, cooking leg of lamb is a great option. With a few simple steps, you can create a flavorful and tender dish that your entire family will love.