Leg of Lamb
I need help cooking a leg of lamb that I purchased at Costco. I'm sure many of you have seen the vacuum packed bags I'm referring to. The last time I tried, folliwng the instructions on the package, the outside came out mealy and gray. All I want is the most basic way, nothing fancy. Have I purchased a subpar piece of meat and is that the problem?
Thanks in advance.
No, the Costco boneless leg of lamb is generally very good and an incredible value. I think the issue may be that most recipes are for bone-in leg of lamb, which overcooks a boneless leg. That's what turns it gre If you have a meat thermometer, I would suggest you base your cooking time on that. That said, I've linked a recipe below which gives a 2.5 hour cooking time at 325 degrees for medium rare (150 degrees).
Being Greek I've never eaten rare or even pink lamb. I can eat a rare steak, but not lamb.
You can sliver 3 cloves garlic. Puncture lamb all over with a knife and slide the garlic slivers in. Spinkle with S&P and Greek Oregano. Squeeze a little lemon over lamb and bake at 350 till well done :) You can place sliced potatoes around the lamb, drizzled with EVOO and S&P also
You have purchased a very nice piece of Australian or NZ lamb. I cut the netting, flatten the leg, cut slits to make it even all over. Marinate 2-3 days in olive oil, merlot wine, dry mustard, crushed garlic and lots of fresh rosemay, salt and pepper. Grill until medium rare, let rest and serve. If you cook it whole the center will be grey...God is punishing you for not butterflying the leg.
Try this - it works for me EVERY time.
Starting with a good quality bone-in leg of lamb, trim away the excess the fat and silverskin, rinse and pat dry. With a paring knife, make many deep slits around the whole leg and insert garlic slivers within. Now let the leg come to room temperature (VERY IMPORTANT FOR EVEN COOKING), two to four hours on your kitchen counter depending upon the size and weight of the leg.
Prepare your BBQ for cooking with indirect heat; a hot fire on one side, no fire on the other. Generously salt and pepper the leg and place over the high flame. Grill each side until beautifully browned, three to five minutes, and then move the leg off the flame. Close the grill and let the leg finish cooking in the indirect heat of the grill.
Cook until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees (for medium rare) in the thickest part of the meat (not touching the bone, the temperature may rise another 5 degrees off the fire). Remove the leg from the BBQ, tent with foil and let rest for five to seven minutes before carving. Enjoy.
To test for doneness, I always use a combination of two methods, a meat thermometer and the touch test. With practice I have found the touch test to be invaluable. It makes me rely on my own senses to observe how my food is cooking and when it is done to my liking. I use the thermometer just to confirm when I'm not sure or I feel I need a little confirmation.
I like my lamb cooked simply this way, without lot's of strong marinades. It allows the natural flavor of the lamb to shine through. As long as the meat doesn't climb above 143 or 144 degrees, you'll find it moist and juicy. I often serve the meat with mustards and chutneys alongside, preferring to let those flavors be an accompaniment used at the diners discretion.
I hope this works out for you. If you try it, let me know if you're successful.
And here's a good explanation for the touch test.
Thanks for the detailed instructions. Unfortunately, I don't have access to a grill. How can I do this in an oven? Or, is it better to brown the leg in a large oven proof pan, then finish in the oven? Like you, I don't like strong, fussy marinades. I want to taste the essence of the lamb.