Everything You Need To Know About Cooking Lamb

  • by XpatAthens
  • Monday, 29 April 2024
Everything You Need To Know About Cooking Lamb
Roasted lamb on a spit is the traditional dish of Greek Easter Sunday! However, if you don’t want to go through the process of spending hours outside tending to the rotisserie lamb, you may want to opt for a more conventional cooking method.
Here is a quick guide to help you choose the right piece of meat, as well as some basic tips on cooking, seasoning, and marinating lamb.

What Part Of The Lamb Should I Choose?

1. Leg of Lamb

The leg of lamb is the most tender part of the lamb. Keep in mind that the bone-in leg of lamb takes longer to cook but doesn’t need to be tied with butchers’ twine like a semi-boneless leg of lamb. A whole leg of lamb usually weighs about 3 to 4 kilos and should feed about 4-5 people.

2. Rack of Lamb

The lamb rib rack is one of the most elegant and impressive meat cuts. Rack of lamb grills beautifully but can also be roasted in a delicious crust of aromatic herbs. Frenching the rack by removing the meat and fat that connect the individual rib bones, gives a very impressive result but may require a bit of help from your butcher.

3. Lamb Chops

Loin chops look like tiny T-bone steaks and offer a generous ratio of meat-to-bone. Season with a dry rub, or marinate for 4 to 6 hours, then grill, broil or pan fry the chops for a wonderful meal.

Shoulder chops are great for braising and require a shorter amount of cooking time than other cuts. They are a wallet-friendly, flavorful choice for quick and easy meals.

4. Lamb Shanks

Lean on fat but high on flavor, lamb shanks are stars of the braising world. Slow-cook the lamb for a delicious velvety texture.

Important Cooking Tips

  • Lamb roasts and steaks should be cooked to an internal temperature of 63°C (145°F), while ground lamb needs to reach at least 71°C (160°F).
  • Tougher cuts of lamb are perfect for tender stews and braises in the slow cooker, but remember to sear the meat before cooking to build flavor.
  • Slice leftover roasted lamb for delicious next-day sandwiches and salads.
  • Cook lamb meat over an open fire to create mouth-watering, smoked flavors and aromas.
  • If grilling a whole rack of lamb, cover the rib bones in foil to prevent them from burning.

Herbal Marinades And Seasoning Mixes

1. Yogurt-Marinated Lamb Skewers

Cut the lamb meat into 1-inch cubes and place in an overnight marinade made with yogurt, crushed garlic, lemon juice, and mint. Remove excess marinade before skewering and serve with a squeeze of lemon, coarse salt, and freshly ground pepper.

2. Aromatic Herb Rubs

a. Herbs such as mint, thyme, basil, and rosemary perfectly complement the lamb. Turn them into a seasoning paste using garlic, lemon juice, and paprika. This paste is ideal for grilled lamb chops but also for oven-roasted lamb.

b. Using a sharp knife make small slits all over the leg of the lamb. Stuff each incision with fresh rosemary and 1/2 clove of garlic. Rub with olive oil or melted butter and a blend of thyme, salt, and pepper. and Rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting for even better results.