The leg of a lamb is one of the most popular lamb cuts. This is cut from the hind legs of a one-year-old sheep. Roasting is the most common way of cooking it, but a boned leg of lamb can also be grilled.
Legs of lamb are sold either with or without bones. If you find the full leg too big for you, you can buy the smaller half-leg cuts such as the bony but tender sirloin half, and the lean shank half.
A frozen leg of lamb should be defrosted in the refrigerator. It is recommended that you let it sit and age in the refrigerator for a week before cooking.
Lamb has a covering over its fat called fell. Fell is paper-thin and often removed from chops and other cuts available in the market. If the cut you purchased still has its fell, you can choose not to remove it because it helps maintain the shape and succulence of the meat.
How to Roast Leg of Lamb
- Soak the leg of lamb in marinade for a minimum of 12 hours. The marinade is made from 3 tbsp salt, one clove of garlic, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 sliced onion, and ½ tsp thyme mixed with cold water.
- Rinse the lamb. Place it in a roasting pan and cover it.
- Rub the meat with salt, black pepper, and paprika. Throw the old marinade away.
- Place sliced onions with the lamb and brush it lightly with margarine or olive oil. Add one cup of water to the pan.
- Place the pan in an oven preheated to 450 °F. Insert an oven-safe thermometer into the thickest part of leg of lamb. After 20 minutes, lower the temperature to 325º F (165º C). Roast the lamb from medium rare (145°F / 43.5°C) to medium done (170°F / 62.4°C).
- To cook until it is rich brown, keep moistening it with oil or margarine. Remove the cover in the last ½ hour.
- Remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Use an oven-proof meat thermometer for roasting leg of lamb so that you won’t have to open the oven every time you check the temperature.
The cooking time of your lamb is affected by the type of the roast, the internal temperature in the oven when you begin cooking it, and the variations of the temperature in the oven.