Friday, April 10, 2009


Lamb is flavorful enough on its own that it doesn't need much seasoning, but conversely, lamb's flavor is robust enough that it pairs beautifully with any number of herbs.

Seasoning the Meat
You can do this right before you begin roasting, or do it a day ahead of time for a more intense flavor.
Season the lamb however you like--but don't salt it until just before cooking, as salt can draw moisture out of the meat.

 Before seasoning the lamb, trim some of the excess fat if you like, in addition to any silver skin.
 Make small incisions in the surface of the meat and push slivers of garlic and sprigs of *herbs into the slits. Chop up herbs/seasonings and rub the mixture evenly over the surface of the meat.
 Wrap the coated meat tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight for the best flavor.
Roasted to Perfection
Before roasting your lamb, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. A piece of meat at room temperature will roast more evenly, and using a roasting rack will ensure even browning and heat circulation.
The amount of fat that your piece of lamb has surrounding the outside and marbled through the middle will determine the cooking time and temperature you use:
 For a lean piece of meat, cook at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for the first 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) to continue roasting--the meat will take about 25 minutes per pound to reach medium rare.
Using a hot oven in this manner will allow leaner cuts of meat to get nicely browned on the outside before they become overcooked and dry in the middle.
 For a fattier piece of meat, roast at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) for a longer period of time, allowing the fat to slowly melt and bathe the roast in its own juices. Meat cooked with this method will take about 30 minutes per pound to reach medium rare.
Avoid cooking your lamb beyond this temperature as the meat can become dried out and tough.
Rest Your Roast
Once your roast is within 10 degrees F (5 degrees C) of its ideal cooked temperature, remove from the oven, place a foil tent loosely over it, and allow the meat to rest for 15-20 minutes. As the meat rests, the internal temperature will increase by several degrees, the muscle fibers will relax, and the juice that has come to the surface of the meat during cooking will begin to return to the center. A well-rested piece of meat will be tenderer, and will retain its juices better when you slice it.
*Some additions that complement lamb well are rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, lemon zest, cumin, coriander, mint,

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