Relatively easy to prepare for small or large groups, lamb is one of the most popular centerpieces for Easter lunch, second only to ham. Lamb meat is commonly served during Greek Easter celebrations, but it has gained popularity all over the world. If you would like to know how to cook leg of lamb, follow the tips below.
1.) Create Your Seasoning Rub or Marinade
When cooking leg of lamb, you must first combine your desired ingredients to create a seasoning rub. There are a myriad of ways to flavor the meat. Salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic are traditional flavorings used to season lamb. Other ingredients that you can use include:
- Balsamic vinegar
- White wine
- Olive oil
- Dijon mustard
2.) Season the Lamb
After you have assembled your seasoning rub, place the lamb on a sheet pan covered with foil. Make 30 to 50 small incisions in the flesh of the lamb. The incisions should be large enough for you to stick your fingertips into them. Massage the seasoning rub or marinade into the meat and try to work it into the holes. You can also add additional flavoring by making small incisions in the skin and inserting rosemary sprigs and pieces of garlic.
3.) Cover and Refrigerate the Meat
After you rub flavorings onto the lamb, cover it and place it in the fridge to marinate for anywhere from a few hours to overnight.
4.) Preheat Your Oven to 400F
Preheat your oven to 400F/200C. Peel and cut two red onions into quarters and place them at the bottom of a roasting pan. The onions will add flavor to the lamb during cooking, as well as a bit of moisture to the meat.
5.) Begin Roasting
Put the lamb in a roasting pan fatty side up, cover it loosely with foil, and place the pan in the center of the preheated oven.
6.) Lower the Temperature to 350F
After 20-30 minutes, lower the temperature to 350F. Roast the lamb for approximately 12 to 14 minutes per pound of meat, including the weight of the bone. Check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the roast 30 to 40 minutes after you lower the oven’s temperature. Cook the meat to an internal temperature of about 130F.
7.) Allow the Lamb to Rest
Once the lamb is done, turn off the oven and lay the lamb on a flat surface to rest. Lay it on the opposite side so that the juices are redistributed. Save the pan drippings to make gravy.
8.) Make the Gravy
Place the roasting pan over the stove on medium low heat. Add approximately 125ml of red wine to the pan drippings and leave the sauce to reduce. Meanwhile, mix butter with an equal amount of plain flour in a bowl to make a paste. Gradually add this paste to the gravy and whisk well until the gravy achieves the desired consistency.
9.) Serve the Lamb
Once the lamb is done resting, the meat should be a perfect medium rare. To serve the lamb, slice it against the grain and pour the gravy over it. Lamb goes well with potatoes and a variety of vegetables.
Learning how to cook a leg of lamb might seem intimidating, but it is actually quite straightforward. Follow our above tips for cooking leg of lamb, so you and your family can enjoy a delicious centerpiece on Easter Sunday or any other occasion throughout the year.