LOS ANGELES, April 14, 2017 – Many people only serve lamb on the holidays or wait until they find it on the menu at their favorite restaurant. However, with a little knowledge, lamb can be a go-to dish for your family and friends.
Boneless leg of lamb can be bought at the grocery store meat department, or you can find lamb from your butcher. Leg of lamb typically comes with the bone in meaning you need to debone the meat yourself or ask the butcher to do it for you.
You will need around ½ to ¾ pound of lamb per person. Don’t forget there is a lot of fat removed, so the weight on the packaging isn’t the amount of edible meat. Ask your butcher for guidance.
What is Boneless leg of lamb?
Leg of lamb is exactly as it sounds, it is the leg of a lamb without the bone. It comes from a lamb that is less than a year old. The meat is very tender, slightly sweet and has a stronger flavor than beef.
History of lamb:
Eating lamb began before the birth of Christianity; the biblical exodus story stated the people of Egypt suffered from plagues, including the death of their first-born sons. Jews were instructed to paint the top of their doors with lamb’s blood and god would “pass over” and not conduct the punishment.
Lamb was then carried over from the Jews who became Christians.
Boneless leg of lamb can be bought at the grocery store in the meat department, or you can find lamb from your butcher. Leg of lamb typically comes with the bone in meaning you need to debone the meat yourself or ask the butcher to do it for you.
Lamb can be bought in Cryovac packaging to prolong the shelf life. If you buy the lamb in the packaging know that it will be slightly bluish in color and have a stronger smell when unwraped. Don’t worry the lamb will change back to the red color and the strong smell will dissipate the longer it’s out of the packaging.
Lamb will cost you around $5.00 a lb. and you will need around ½ to ¾ pound of lamb per person. Don’t forget there is a lot of fat removed, so the weight on the packaging isn’t the amount of edible meat.
Prepping and cleaning:
To clean a leg of lamb it’s best to cut the thick fat from the meat, pat it dry or rinse it under cold water and pat it dry. There are many articles advising home cooks not to rinse raw proteins in water.
In theory, this is a good practice to prevent the spread of bacteria but as long as you clean and disinfect your surface after washing the meat you can rinse it without fear of cross contamination.
Boneless leg of lamb is best seared on the outside and finished in a 350-degree oven to a medium rare (130-140 degrees Fahrenheit).
Lamb should be served warm but can also be served at room temperature. It’s best sliced thin and served with a hearty grain like polenta or wild rice. Beware not everyone loves lamb so don’t be offended if someone’s plate comes back with lamb still on it.
Here is a video that shows you my preparation of Leg of Lamb.
Honey glazed leg of Lamb:
Serves: 3 to 4 Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
3 pounds of boneless leg of lamb
½ teaspoons paprika
½ cup of chopped parsley
2 tablespoons oil
2 shallots sliced
1 cup red wine
½ cup of water
¼ cup honey
Salt and pepper
Cut the fat off of the leg of lamb and open it up, fat side down.
In a bowl mix chopped parsley, oil, paprika, salt and pepper together. Smear the parsley mixture all over the inside of the lamb.
Roll the lamb back up and tie it with butchers twine or put the netting back on the meat.
Season the meat with salt and pepper and then dry it.
Heat a sauté pan with oil and sear all four sides of the lamb.
Then add a little more oil and the shallots to the pan, sauté them lightly.
Turn the fire off and add the wine.
Turn the heat to low and simmer the red wine until all the alcohol has evaporated.
Add the honey and the water to the pan.
Place the lamb in the oven and baste it every ten minutes.
Cook the lamb for 40 minutes for a medium rare.
Remove the netting and cut the lamb, keep the sauce and serve it with the lamb.