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Jun 20, 2008 05:08 PM

How to cook boneless leg of lamb

Thanks to local Chowhounds, I think I've located some sources of tender boneless lamb leg. What are your favorite ways to cook it? It will be butterflied. Grilling is out So I'll use the oven. Would you broil or roast it, marinate with wine (red or white?), or rub on a dry marinade. Thanks.

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  1. Whether I'm grilling or roasting it, if it's butterflied I usually put it into my hinged wire basket, just to hold it down flat - I think it cooks better that way. I put maybe half a cup or more of olive oil, and often some chile oil, into my biggest bowl, and crush a mess of garlic into it, then whisk in some herbes de Provençe. Rub salt and pepper into the lamb and then smoosh it around in the oil bat to get it good and coated, and then let it sit there, turning it over occasionally, for about an hour at room temperature. Then I preheat the oven to 400º and clamp the lamb into the basket over a baking sheet just big enough to fit under it, then put the whole kit'n'caboodle in. give it twenty minutes, turn it over, give it another ten and check it for doneness. You do NOT want this to go past medium-rare, unless you like Lamb Chips. And if you don't have a basket, you can just lay it out on a rack in a roasting pan, or even lay it flat into a big iron skillet. If the latter, I would preheat the skillet along with the oven and drop the lamb into that, then give it just twenty or twenty-five minutes and don't turn it over.

    Another thing you can do is to make a nice stuffing, either finely-cubed bread and mushrooms or a rich pilaf with onion and peas. Spread that over the opened-out lamb, roll it up and tie it, do the sliver-of-garlic thing and rub it down well with oil and salt and whatever herbs, and roast it at the usual 350-375º. This is more a spring than summer dish, but really good anytime, and all you need besides that is some wine and a nice salad.

    1. Persian style, marinated in yogurt and garlic which forms a great crust when baked; very moist inside. Or marinated in home made Italisn dressing and baked.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Passadumkeg

        What oven temperature if baking with yogurt garlic marinade? Thanks

      2. I have used this simple method successfully more than once. It makes a beautiful product.

        Roll it, tie it, and put it in a baking dish. Cover the outside with olive oil, juice of one lemon, a few cloves of crushed garlic and coarsely ground pepper. Stick in the fridge for at least a couple of hours up to overnight.

        Heat oven to 475 F. Put lamb on center rack and cook for 30 mins. Reduce heat to 350 and cook roughly 15 min per lb., checking the internal temp frequently with an instant read thermometer until it reaches 120-125 F. Remove from overn and let rest for at least 10 mins.

        You'll have a nice crusty outside with a pink, juicy interior. It's delicious.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JonParker

          I like this method and the cooking temp. Also, if you cook it "almost too raw" in the center, those are the best parts for reheating later as they don't over cook if you reheat.

          A few other points

          - this preparation goes real well with a horseradish cream sauce (be careful with prepared products, HFCS, etc). Especially if there's something sweet in the rub on the outside of the lamb. The crusty sweetness and the horseradish pair very well. Sometimes I use chinese 5 spice in addition to something sweet - a glaze of palm sugar works well.

          - there's also a spice mix called "Colorado Lamb Rub" or "Colorado Spice" or "New Zealand" rub. It is a mixture of "ingredients: salt, fructose, spearmint,
          seasame seed, lemon peel, black pepper, basil, and spices." I'm sure there are variations. This is more of a savory combination that won't go with the sauce mentioned above.

          Good luck!

        2. My sister and her ex raised lamb so we eat lamb alot in our family. And actually grilling is exactly what you do want to do with it. I make an amazing butterflied lamb on the grill. Marinate overnight in a soya sauce, red wine, ginger and garlic mix. Grill it, let it rest for at least 10 minutes and cut on the bias. It is without a doubt the best thing I make on the grill and I live in the home of the best beef in the world. One of advantages of the grill is that you get a variety of doneness which is good for guests because often lamb novices do not like it as pink as we lamb lovers.

          Serve it will a nice coleslaw and rice and it is a great, low effort dinner. It is also great as a leftover, but there usually isn't too much left uneaten.

          I have also done a Greek version with a marinade of lemon juice with oregano and white wine. It is good but the more robust flavour of the red wine/soya marinade seems like a better match to the big taste of lamb.

          4 Replies
          1. re: pengcast

            I suspect the OP said "grilling is out" because she's one of those unfortunates who don't grill because they CAN'T. City apartments with no outside facilities, or municipalities with regulations forbidding cooking on balconies (I thought Nashville was gonna have a riot on their hands when they passed that one!), or just people with no yard or porch period. For these, investment in an iron grill pan is something they might think about. The one I have, from Lodge, cost me about $25, and is a good 14" across, plenty big for a 2.5-3 lb. butterflied leg. You do want to have a decent exhaust fan, especially if your smoke alarms are trigger-happy as mine are...

            1. re: Will Owen

              Wow, must have been half a sleep.

              I have a grill pan that always sets off the smoke alarm too.

            2. re: pengcast

              But as long as you are talking about grilling it, may I ask a very basic question-- if I buy a boneless leg of lamb, in order to grill it do I untie it and spread it flat on the grill? Should I expect to need to trim anything or do any other adjustments besides putting it on the grill? And, about how long should I expect to cook it (approximately)? I have only roasted or braised this cut of meat previously, and I'd like to try grilling...

              1. re: Anne H

                Scroll on up to see my remarks on that very subject, and those of others.