You're about to dive into a super tender, absolutely delicious roasted leg of lamb recipe. Looking for more reasons to keep reading? We're going to make it a one-pot-meal with delightfully tasty roasted vegetables and top it with a fantastic gravy made from the cooking juices. If you're thinking of making leg of lamb, you're going to love this recipe.
This leg of lamb recipe is: Gluten Free and Easy to Make.
YOUR GO-TO LEG OF LAMB RECIPE!
If you're like me, then you love lamb. Just about any kind of lamb... shanks, shoulders, ribs, chops, racks, saddles and the legs. However, I've learned over the years that it is a different story ordering lamb at a restaurant versus cooking it at home. For some reason lamb is intimidating to cook at home. At my cooking school so many students came through that were terrified to buy lamb, particularly the leg. The most common question was "what do I do with it?"
Well, the easiest answer is to roast it. Why? All you need to do is season, coat in mustard, add some aromatics and roast. It is just that simple. No need to worry about butchering the leg. Just take it out of the vacuum sealed bag and plop it onto some cut veggies. A couple hours later you will be noshing on a yummy dinner.
You can use this recipe for either bone-in or deboned leg of lamb. You will need to adjust the cooking time (about ⅓ less time for a deboned leg of lamb), but it works great with either cut.
WHERE TO BUY LEG OF LAMB
You'll be able to buy a leg of lamb at almost every high-end grocery store. If you have a local market with a butcher counter, you will be able to advance order a leg of lamb. If you are unable to find a leg of lamb in the fresh meat section of the grocery store, check in the frozen meat section. Lamb does not move as fast as chicken, beef or pork.
Typically legs of lamb are sold vacuum packed so they have a longer shelf life. When looking at the package, it will indicate whether it is a bone-in or boneless leg of lamb. If you are having a hard time finding the information on the label, skip it completely. Just look at the meat itself. If it has a net around the meat, it is boned.
I have purchased wonderful leg of lamb from Costco, Whole Foods, Wegmans and Heinens grocery stores. In Cleveland, the West Side Market has incredible choices as does Miles Farmers Market.
WHEN TO BUY LEG OF LAMB
The best time to buy leg of lamb is in the spring! The lamb will be most tender in the spring. Tender meat is important when you are cooking the rack, chops, or saddle.
It is best to buy legs, shanks and shoulders in the fall and winter. Cuts like these tend to be less expensive during the winter. Tenderness typically doesn't apply to large muscle cuts since they will most likely be braised or roasted, thereby breaking down the tough connective tissue.
HOW MUCH LEG OF LAMB PER PERSON?
How much depends entirely upon whether you are buying a bone-in or boneless leg of lamb. The following may seem like large portions. Keep in mind that the leg of lamb will reduce in size while it cooks. Here's the rule of thumb:
- Bone-In Leg of Lamb: ½ to ⅔ lb per person.
- Boneless Leg of Lamb: ⅓ lb per person.
A typical serving size for meat is around ¼ lb per person, which is what you will net after cooking. It is always best to err on the side of caution. I buy more than I need particularly for people who want seconds!
WHAT TEMPERATURE DO I COOK LEG OF LAMB?
The perfect question to ask. Here's the scoop: use a timer solely as a guide to cooking lamb. Every cut of lamb is going to cook differently. Each lamb has a different fat and moisture composition as well as bone density. It is really difficult to cook lamb with a timer and have it come out of the oven correctly.
*Remember to take the temperature at the thickest part of the leg without touching the instant read thermometer to the bone.
Here are the different temperatures to look for when cooking leg of lamb:
- Rare: 120 degrees. Great for chops or rack of lamb, but not for this leg of lamb recipe.
- Medium Rare: 130 degrees. Perfect. This is when you want to remove the leg of lamb from the oven.
- Medium: 140 degrees. With carryover cooking you are pushing the envelope at 140 degrees. There will be a well defined gray ring around the meat.
- Medium Well: 150 degrees. Dry meat alert.
- Well Done: 160 degrees. Well done should really be called poorly done. You'll be chewing each piece for a week.
HOW TO MAKE LEG OF LAMB WITH A CRUST
Lamb is good, but a crusted leg of lamb is even better. In this leg of lamb recipe we are going to get a really nice crust to form. Here's how to do it:
- Prepare the Lamb: give the lamb a shower with salt and pepper. Let it sit for an hour or more to bring the meat to room temperature.
- Coat the Lamb: use a high quality dijon mustard and coat one side of the lamb. Add on a generous dose of herbs de Provence, flip the lamb and repeat.
- Cover the Lamb: we don't want a burned crust. Cover the lamb with foil to protect the herbs from burning.
- Cook: cook the lamb for 45 minutes covered at 400 degrees (or until the meat reaches 120 degrees), then remove the cover and increase the heat to 425. Cook for 15 minutes and you'll have the perfect crust.
When you remove the lamb from the oven, you may tent it with foil. I tear a hole in the top of the foil for the steam to escape, keeping the crust nice and crunchy.