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How to Cook the Perfect Roast Lamb
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Roast lamb has a wonderful flavour and cooking slowly results in tender meat that melts in the mouth.
30 mins per 500g
1 Quality Mark whole lamb leg, bone in
There are a few different types of legs you can use. A full bone-in leg includes meat from the whole lamb leg including the rump, topside, silverside and shank. Readily available in most butchers and supermarkets – a classic, much loved kiwi roast that I love to serve. The end bone makes a useful handle for carving.The carvery lamb leg is made up of the shank, silverside and a small piece of topside, and is semi boned for easier carving. This can also be rolled out, stuffed then rolled up and tied before roasting for a lovely tender result.
A butterflied leg simply has the bone removed and the meat is opened out into a large flat piece – so you get the gorgeous flavour of the leg with a much quicker cooking time and much easier carving. This cut can either be roasted in the oven, or grilled on a BBQ over a medium heat.
Pat your lamb roast dry - then make a series of shallow cuts in the fat, a few centimetres apart. This helps the meat absorb all the lovely flavours of the marinade.
Marinating the lamb before cooking adds extra punch. There are lots of different marinades - a number of marinade recipes are on this site. Spread the marinade all over the lamb. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate, preferably overnight or at least 2 hours.
Remove the lamb from the fridge half an hour before cooking. Place in a roasting dish fat side up and season. Bake in an oven preheated to 180C or 170C fan bake. The rules for doneness are 25-30 minutes per 500g for medium and 30-35 minutes per 500g if you like it well done.
Baste once or twice while cooking. Resting is an essential part of getting this right – it lets the juices settle in the meat. Cover loosely and walk away for 15 to 20 minutes.
Carve the roast lamb across the grain and serve with roast vege. Any leftovers are perfect for sandwiches at your summer picnics.
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