Lamb leg is considered the choicest cut for roasting, although a boned shoulder or a rack of lamb is also delicious. Legs are usually sold range in weight from 5 to 10 pounds. You may have the leg prepared couple different ways for your cooking. A French way - leg has the shank bone left in and trimmed. An American way - the shank bone is removed, and the meat turned under and either tied or secured with a skewer. If you have trouble carving a leg of lamb, have the shank bone left in, the other bones removed, and the roast rolled and tied. This gives you even slices and presents no trouble at table to the carver.
For my recipe I used boneless leg of lamb and I did not rolled it or tied it. This way it marinates all the way and it cooks faster.
Roasting Variations: To roast the lamb you may choose one of the methods. Rub the roast with salt and pepper, and place it in a roasting pan or on a rack in the pan. If you use the meat thermometer, insert it in the thickest part of the roast, being careful it is not next to the bone. Cook the roast in a preheated slow oven 300F until the thermometer registers 165F, if you like your lamb just pink and juicy and tender. If you must have it dry and thoroughly well done, let the thermometer rise to 175F. If there is a nice layer of fat on the leg, you will not need to baste the roast at all while cooking. Approximately 25 minutes per pound is right for medium well-done lamb.
If you prefer the method of searing the lamb first, butter or oil it and sear it in a hot over 400F-475F for 15 minutes. Then, open the door of the oven and reduce the heat to slow 300F. When the temperature in the oven has dropped, close the oven door and continue cooking till lamb is done.
Serve lamb on a hot platter and on hot plates. Nothing is more unappetizing than a slice of lamb on a cold plate with congealed fat. Serve the juices from the pan over the roast.
You may roast potatoes on the pan with the meat, and most delicious morsels they are. Peel and quarter potatoes and add to the pan about 1 hour before removing the roast. Salt and pepper them well and turn them once or twice during the cooking process so they will brown nicely. Serve the browned potatoes with lamb and a good bottle of red wine. Perfect dinner for the family or for company.
There are two schools of thought on roasting marinated lamb. Some say it should be roasted in the marinade in a slow oven, and basted with the marinade while cooking. Others insist it should be cooked in a very hot oven without basting. In either case, I believe that the results are about the same, and they are exceedingly good.
Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Marinade & Roasted Vegetables
- 5-pound leg of lamb, bone removed, untied
- 3 tsp. salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 6-7 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 onion, peeled, minced
- 5-6 potatoes, peeled and quarter
- 3 turnips, peeled and quarter
Place the lamb in a glass or pottery container. In a bowl mix together all spices, oil, onion, garlic, wine and herbs and pour over the lamb. Marinate the lamb in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight, turning a few times.
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Drain the lamb, and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Add half the marinade. Roast in the oven for about 2 hours or until tender. One hour before the lamb is done add the potatoes and turnips. Pour the rest of the marinade. Baste the lamb frequently during a cooking.
When done, place the lamb and vegetables on a hot serving dish, and let stand for 10 minutes before carving.