NAMP Number: 233 (A-G depending on how you want it)
Muscle Name(s): Tons, it’s a leg.
Other Names: Piernas, Sin Cana
Cooking Style: Roast or Braise Certain cuts have certain connotations for me.
There’s also the option to have the bone in leg cross cut into steaks. If you ever come across a butcher willing to do this for you, jump at that opportunity. There aren’t too many cuts from a lamb that are easily grilled. Rather than flipping a million tiny rib chops to feed all of your buddies, you can just keep an eye on a couple big thick cut leg steaks. They marinate great like this too, and there’s so much you can do with that to take your lamb to even greater heights.
There are two distinct schools of though relating to the cooking of a leg of lamb. You can either roast a leg until it’s achieved your desired doneness (rare, medium rare, etc), or you can slow cook it until it’s falling apart tender. Slow cooking a leg of lamb is, in my overly entitled opinion, a bit of a waste of time for such a great cut. It certainly tastes fine slow cooked, but you’ll get such better results using that method if you went for my second favorite cut of lamb – the shoulder. Most butchers charge much more for the leg than they do the shoulder, so you’re playing yourself out of a better meal and also actual money.
This being the most quintessential of British cuts I figured I’d pass along a simple recipe from the man himself. It’s on page 239 of the Meat Book which I’m just going to assume you have at this point.
River Cottage Roast Lamb
1 leg of lamb (or mutton which we didn’t even talk about but oh my god if you can find it, do it!)
2 or 3 large garlic cloves cut into thick slivers
4 Anchovy Filets chopped into pieces
Sprigs of Rosemary, broken up
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1. Put the lamb into a roasting pan and cut slits in the meat three quarters to an inch deep
2. Push a piece of garlic, rosemary, and anchovy in each slit
3. Rub all over with olive oil and roast in a 450 degree oven for a half hour
4. Pour the white wine over the lamb, dial the oven back to 325 and let it chill out for another 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the leg and how you like it cooked.