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Experiment: Roast Leg of Lamb

My wife and I both love roast lamb. We don’t have a whole leg very often as it is a lot of meat for one meal and lamb, unlike pork, or even beef for that matter, just doesn’t seem to heat up well a second time. The cooked meat does have some interesting uses, however, and as we wanted a nice lamb roast for Easter I decided to go ahead and get one with a view to using the leftovers for a couple of future experiments…

I prepared this leg quite a bit more simply than I usually do and just rubbed it down with salt and pepper and gave it a thin coat of mustard and some crushed thyme. Quite often, I will puncture the flesh all over with lots of incisions and then stuff these with garlic and rosemary but since I wanted to put the leftovers to other uses I decided to keep things a bit plainer.

If you take a look at a representative sample of roast lamb recipes on the Internet, you will find that there is a wide range of cooking temperatures suggested, some of which appear contradictory, or at the very least at odds with each other. I was planning to roast vegetables at the same time so chose a method whereby the leg (being 5 pounds in weight, more or less) gets roasted at 450 degrees for a half-hour and then at 400 for a further hour. According to one suggested recipe I looked at, this would cook the meat rare and it fit in with the range of temperature I wanted for my roast vegetables. Many sources advocate using a meat thermometer to bring the middle of the roast to 145 degrees to ensure rare meat but my thermometer is battery operated and was not working for this occasion.

The Result

All in all the meal was very good. The meat was a little more well done than we like it and I think that next time I would start the meat at 425 and then lower it to 375 for the last hour. It was still quite pink at the thickest part of the leg but the rest, though tasty was not rare enough. I didn’t mind it too much but my wife was less impressed as she likes hers prettyy bloody.

The two sides were the roast vegetables I mention above and the Baby Bok Choy I blanched in a recent ‘Foodstuffs’ post. I will feature both of these in upcoming posts very shortly…

By the way …. the meat slices in the above picture are bathed in the Mint Sauce I made a few days before.

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