Last Updated on November 7, 2022 by Nazmin Sarker
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Lamb is tender, lean meat with a delicate yet distinctive flavor that is enhanced by seasonings and flavorings of all kinds, ranging from garlic and herbs and spices to fruit and nuts.
Best Lamb Cuts
Lamb Leg Whole:
Also known as leg roast, sirloin contains a sirloin section with hip bone and a shank portion with round bone; the outside is covered with fell. This is suitable for roasting.
Lamb Leg Shank Half:
The lower half of the leg and round leg bone. Heavily muscled, with fat and fell covering, this is suitable for roasting.
Also known as lamb trotter, cut from the arm, it is suitable for braising and cooking in liquid.
Lamb Shoulder Neck Slices:
Also known as lamb neck and lamb for stew bone-in, they are suitable for braising.
Lamb Rib Roast:
Also known as rack roast and rib rack, it contains rib bones, backbones, and thick, meaty rib-eye muscle and is suitable for roasting.
Lamb Breast Riblets:
Cuts are long and narrow and are suitable for braising or cooking in liquid.
Lamb Shoulder Blade Chop:
Also known as a blade-cut chop, this is suitable for braising, broiling, and pan-frying.
Lamb Rib Chop:
Also known as rack lamb chop, this is suitable for broiling, pan-broiling and pan-frying.
Lamb Loin Chop:
Contains part of the backbone; this is suitable for broiling and pan-broiling.
Lamb Leg Sirloin Chop:
Cut from the sirloin section of the leg, this can be broiled, pan-broiled, or pan-fried.
Contains the ribs; also known as the breast of lamb. Oblong in shape, with layers of fat within the lean, it is suitable for braising or roasting.
Lamb Shoulder Arm Chop:
Also known as arm cut and round bone chop, this is suitable for braising, broiling, and pan-broiling.
The meat of a high-quality lamb is pink to light red in color, firm and fine-textured, with red, porous bones. The color of the fat cannot be taken as a guide to quality because it varies according to the animal’ sage, breed, and feed; the fat should not be too thick in relation to lean meat.
The thin, papery skin that surrounds chops, steaks, and roasts should feel fresh, moist, and pliable, not dry or wrinkled, this skin, known as the “fell,” should be left on roasts to help them hold their shape during cooking. However, if it has not been removed from steaks and chops when you buy them, pull it off yourself before you cook them. When buying rib roasts, ask the meatman to loosen the backbone from the ribs to make carving easier.
Some lamb cuts, such as rib crown roast, are expensive and are suitable only for special occasions, but there are a number of lamb cuts that are excellent value for everyday budget meals. These include riblets and shanks, which are very economical.
If planning to serve kabobs, the cubes can be cut from any thick, solid piece of boneless lamb. You can cut the cubes at home from an unrolled boneless shoulder roast.
Best lamb cuts are tender enough to be cooked by one of the dry heat methods, roasting, broiling, pan broiling, or pan-frying, but lamb is also delicious braised, or cooked in liquid.
Whichever method you choose, it is always important to remember to keep temperatures low to moderate so that the meat will not cook too quickly and will be as tender, juicy, and flavorful as possible.
Testing For Doneness
Roast lamb can be served rare, medium, or well done. For rare lamb, the thermometer should read 140° F. and the meat will be reddish inside. For medium lamb, the thermometer should read 160° F. and the meat will be brownish-pink with a tinge of red. For a well-done lamb, the thermometer should register 170° F. and there will be no sign of pink in the meat. Remember to let the lamb stand for 15 minutes when you take it out of the oven. This will make for much easier carving.
To test broiled, pan-broiled, and pan-fried lamb for doneness, make a small slit in the center of the meat or near the bone and check the color. Braised lamb or lamb cooked in liquid should be fork-tender.
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Timetable For Roasting Lamb
|Approximate Cooking Time|
325 ° F.
|Leg shank half|
3 to 4
|1 ¾ to 1 ¾||1 ½ to 2||1 ¾ to 2 ¼||325° F.|
|Leg sirloin half|
3 to 4
|1 to 1 ¼||1¼ to 1 ¾||1 ½ to 2||325° F.|
|Leg roast boneless|
325 ° F.
|Rib roast (rack)|
1 ½ to 2
2 to 3
325 ° F.
|Shoulder roast square|
4 to 6
|1 ¾ to 2 ½||2 to 3||325° F.|
|Shoulder roast boneless|
3 ½ to 5
|1 ¾ to 2 ½||2 to 3||2 ⅓ to 3 ¼||325° F.|
- Meat at refrigerator temperature.
- Remove meat from the oven when the internal temperature is 5 to 10 degrees below the desired doneness as the meat continues cooking.
Carving A Leg of Lamb
Place the leg of lamb on a cutting board or warm platter with the leg or shank bone to your right. Using a fork to anchor meat, and holding a knife in a slanting position almost parallel to the surface of the lamb, make a ¼-inch-thick slice about a third of the way along the leg toward the shank end. Remove slice.
Cut the next slice ¼ inch farther toward the large end and cut parallel to the bone. Continue cutting slices until you reach the bone. After removing the top slices, turn the leg slightly and carve the sides into long slender slices.
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Last update on 2022-02-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API