Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Roast Leg of Lamb

Roast Leg of Lamb recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Lamb is a completely new food for me. (Both the cooking of it and the eating of it. I don't recall ever trying it before this.) Our CSA from Double Check Ranch offered a lamb roast as an option a couple weeks ago. I couldn't resist trying it.

I wanted to use a very simple lamb recipe. Everything mention I found online kept referring back to James Beard. In his book, The Fireside Cook Book: A Complete Guide to Fine Cooking for Beginner and Expert, He gives very simple directions for cooking Leg of Lamb. I found the directions on Epicurious and decided to make this as classically as possible.

I was concerned with drying out the meat, because every single person I spoke with talked about how they either loved or hated lamb. For those who do enjoy the flavor, they commented that great lamb could be destroyed easily by overcooking it, causing it to be tough and chewy meat. The key to this recipe is removing the roast from the oven before it registers higher than 135 degrees. The roast will continue to rise a few more degrees as it rests after cooking. The goal is perfectly medium rare meat.

My husband declared this the best lamb he has ever eaten. The meat was almost tender enough to cut with a fork and it was perfectly moist. In the interest of honesty, I'll admit that my kids and I were not fans of it. I will likely pass on the lamb options next time and stick with the beef that my entire family loves already.

Roast Leg of Lamb
recipe by James Beard via Epicurious
(printable recipe)

2-5 pound leg of lamb, well trimmed and fat removed (my roast was just over 2 pounds)
freshly ground black pepper
crushed rosemary
kosher salt

Equipment needed: Internal Meat Thermometer

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a shallow pan with foil and set a baking rack inside it. (My roast was quite small and I was able to set a small cooling rack on a quarter sheet pan.)

Trim any excess fat or membrane off of the lamb and then rub well with black pepper and just a touch of rosemary. Place it on the baking rack and roast in the oven until it reaches 130-135 degrees. When the roast reaches 120 degrees, salt it well and place back in the oven. (I simply reached into the oven and salted mine there. Feel free to play it a little safer than I did.)

I roasted mine fairly cold from the refrigerator and it took about 1 1/2 hours to reach 133 degrees. Remove from the  oven and let rest about 10 minutes before carving. Enjoy!

Roast Leg of Lamb recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen


18 comments:

  1. I am so impressed! It is beautifully cooked meat. I must admit I've never made leg-o-lamb before but have had lamp chops. I've always wanted to try this with the mint jelly thing - why I don't know! Good for you!

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  2. I love lamb...unfortunately, Chris does not. Yours looks like it was cooked to perfection, Mary! Nicely done!

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  3. Bev doesn't care for lamb and I like the occasional lamb chop, so leg is lamb is not likely to show up on our table. But if it were, I'd want it to look just like yours. Very nice job.

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  4. I am jealous that your CSA has lamb! I love it, but it can be really hard to find in Minnesota.

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  5. look delicious like all your plates lol

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  6. I am not a fan of lamb either although here in Greece everybody loves it and eats it quite often. This one looks delicious and I am sure that for a lamb eater this would be the perfect meal!

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  7. I love lamb, the way you describe it ''could almost cut it with the fork'' makes it sound deliciously tender...did you serve this with any gravy?

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  8. We treat ourselves to lamb at least twice a year and typically prepare it two ways 1)similar to this except with the inclusion of garlic and olive oil 2) grind up the meat and make lamb burgers...oh so good. Here an old recipe of mine: http://sports-glutton.com/2011/05/27/memorial-day-recipes-greek-grilling-part-iii/

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  9. We all love lamb, which I coat with a mixture of garlic and rosemary in olive oil, and then roast. It's very hard to get here, typically only available for a couple of weeks before Easter, or we'd have it much more often! Yours looks just perfect.

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  10. Lamb is definitely a new meat for me too. I like it, but don't prefer it. Yours looks pretty darn fantastic though!

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  11. I have never eaten lamb before. Your pictures makes it look really tasty.

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  12. Lamb and rosemary is quite simply the best! Great post..

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  13. We love lamb in this house and we usually have leg of lamb at my in-laws for Easter. I agree, if you overcook it then it goes from being a favorite to just so-so. We usually roast it with some carrots and they take on the wonderful flavor of the lamb - sooo good. One year Jim poured the juices from the roast over the sliced lamb and everyone raved about it...after dinner Jim told me his secret and I told him to do that every time we have it!

    Sorry you didn't love it. It definitely has a different flavor, that's for sure! It looks like you cooked it perfectly though.

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  14. I love lamb so much! I definitely don't have it often enough. This one looks delicious! :)

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  15. I'm not a big fan of lamb either...although I do love wool socks in the winter, ha ha ha.

    To me lamb is too "grassy" or something. I've cooked it myself and have had it cooked at restaurants, not overcooked, just didn't care for it.

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  16. I love lamb!
    If you're interested, Jamie Oliver has tons of basic lamb recipes. There's no doubt that it's a more popular protein in the UK than here in the US, but it's becoming more common here.
    If you didn't enjoy it, I'd recommend you try a different cut. Some cuts are gamier than others, plus the age of the animal makes a huge difference. Young lamb chops seldom have any gaminess at all. You might like those better.

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