September 24, 2023

Roast butterflied leg of lamb

roast lamb; own work


I love lamb, but had really only purchased it for special occasions.  Then, at some point early in the pandemic, when meat was emptied off store shelves, Aldi had as a special purchase deal on a marinated butterflied lamb, which not only tasted great but was far faster than the usual roasted lamb, so I’m a newly-converted fan of the method, rather than the traditional multi-hour endeavor of a traditional leg of lamb.  This particular recipe is still a work-in-progress, though, as I’d like to find a proper marinade and I’m not too confident of the roasting times, but I started with one from AllRecipes.

The recipe calls for a leg that’s been butterflied by the butcher, at a weight of, give or take, 5 pounds.  My local store sells boneless lamb that’s been “reassembled” with a net, for roasting, so I cut the net off, unroll, and hack at it sufficient to butterfly it to a semi-even thickness.  I’ve not yet boned a leg-in lamb, nor done the math to compare the pricing on the two options, nor asked a butcher to bone/butterfly a leg of lamb.

Here’s the coating:

1/4 cup olive oil

8 cloves of garlic, minced

2 1/2 tsp salt (why such a precise amount?  Why not just 1 tablespoon?  I don’t know.  I just slightly underfilled a tablespoon)

1 tsp pepper (I skipped)

2 tbsp ground cumin (I really thought I had some but couldn’t find it so I skipped it; I’ll try it next time)

1 tbsp dried oregano

Combine these ingredients, then spread on both sides of the lamb and let stand for an hour to come to room temperature.

Adjust oven rack to upper or upper-middle position and preheat broiler on high for at least 10 minutes.

Place lamb, cut side up, on a large wire rack set over a foil-lined roasting pan.  Broil for 8 minutes; turn and broil for a further 8 minutes.

Note:  The lamb smoked quite a bit, and I’m not sure if that was as it should have been or if it was too close to the broiler.  (The Aldi lamb’s instructions called for searing on the stovetop instead.)

Heat oven to 325 degrees, and roast for 50 minutes – 1 hour, until lamb reaches 140 degrees.

The lamb was actually done before it reached this time, though I’m not sure exactly how soon as I had delegated the checking to my husband while I was out chauffeuring a kid to a piano lesson.

As soon as the lamb comes out of the oven, squeeze on lemon juice from 1 lemon and sprinkle with 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley, cilantro or mint.  Carve across the grain where possible.

Yeah, I forgot about the lemon and didn’t have fresh herbs.  I also am not sure why the recipe doesn’t call for allowing the lamb to rest.

So there it is – with updates to come as I try the recipe again and tweak as necessary.

4 thoughts on “Roast butterflied leg of lamb


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