Half leg lamb roast fast or slow

Roger Burton

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Hi chaps, a bit of a treat for us in these testing times, we bought a half leg of lamb for easter, in the past I’ve slow cooked and ended up with nice flavourfull gravy and ‘dull’ meat or fast and ended up with chewy meat. A search on the internet seems split, I just wondered what you’re experiences were please. A little bit of ‘pink’ and melt in the mouth is my ideal but is it possible ? …. thanks x
 

Morning Glory

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Hi chaps, a bit of a treat for us in these testing times, we bought a half leg of lamb for easter, in the past I’ve slow cooked and ended up with nice flavourfull gravy and ‘dull’ meat or fast and ended up with chewy meat. A search on the internet seems split, I just wondered what you’re experiences were please. A little bit of ‘pink’ and melt in the mouth is my ideal but is it possible ? …. thanks x

With lamb leg I always cook it slow as I find (as you have) that its chewy otherwise.
 

Morning Glory

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...however, here is the advice from one of my favourite websites: how-to-cook-a-leg-of-lamb

How to cook a leg of lamb​

Leg of lamb is traditionally roasted in a hot oven (190˚C–220˚C) though it can also be slow cooked at lower temperatures for much longer. Lamb leg steaks are widely available for pan-frying and grilling and diced leg can be used for stews, tagines and pies.
When cooking a leg of lamb whole, don’t remove any excess fat – it adds flavour and helps keep the meat tender. The fat will render down during cooking; drain it from the roasting tray and whisk it into your gravy for an extra boost of lamb flavour.
It is important to let the meat come to room temperature before beginning to ensure it will cook through evenly. It is also imperative to let the meat rest after cooking, 20 minutes is sufficient. Wrap the leg in tin foil to prevent it from getting too cold.
Use a meat thermometer to test whether your meat is cooked or not; it’s not essential but will help determine to what stage the lamb is cooked, from rare (48–54˚C) to medium-rare (55–59 °C) to medium (60–66˚C) to well done (67–74˚C) and give a more consistent result. Roast lamb should be served pink in the middle. If overcooked, it is dry, chewy and unpleasant.
To decrease the cooking time, you can ask your butcher to remove the bone running down the middle of the leg, a technique known as butterflying. This is ideal for cooking on a barbecue. Try marinating the meat before cooking as Robert Thompson does in his recipe for Chargrilled leg of lamb with salsa verde and roasted beetroot.
 

Roger Burton

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Sorry re reading that response by me it sounded a little rude and unappreciative, it was not meant to be but yet again I need to decide how to cook the lump of meat, I have had lamb that was melt in the mouth and almost bleeding and chewy tastless waste of money, I’m an amateur cook and, after 50 years of trying am still undecided, mind you I struggle with beef as well, I tend to stick to chicken, bacon, ham and seafood.
 

Morning Glory

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I live in Bexhill on the south coast uk and my local salt marsh lambs are 5 miles away, too popular so I missed out this year :)

Sorry if I offered conflicting views on how to cook that leg! Salt marsh lamb is wonderful and I would risk roasting that rare - but in my experience, a supermarket leg of lamb is best cooked slower and longer. So much depends on the quality of the meat that it can be difficult to advise.
 

caseydog

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My experience with a leg of lamb is to cook it hot and fast, so I get a medium rare interior. I've never tried a slow braise. My parents do a slow roasting, and it is tough, but they are fine with tough meat. The last one I cooked was on my grill/bbq using the rotisserie. You need to debone the leg and truss it to rotisserie cook it.

I cook lamb chops the same way, hot and fast to medium rare.

I have braised lamb shanks (shins? in UK) low and slow for a loooong time, and have gotten good results.

Hope that helps.

CD
 

GadgetGuy

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Lamb is like a pork shoulder. You have to cook them both low & slow, or else they'll be tough! Slow cooking helps to soften & tame the tough fibers & connective tissues to make it ender, juicy & more palatable, so you don't have to chew until your jaws get tired!! :whistling:
 

caseydog

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Lamb is like a pork shoulder. You have to cook them both low & slow, or else they'll be tough! Slow cooking helps to soften & tame the tough fibers & connective tissues to make it ender, juicy & more palatable, so you don't have to chew until your jaws get tired!! :whistling:

Not every cut. Lamb shanks are like that, but chops are NOT. In my experience, leg of lamb needs to be cooked like a rib roast, to medium rare inside.

It is looking like Roger is not going to get a consensus here. 🤷‍♂️

CD
 

Roger Burton

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Sorry if I offered conflicting views on how to cook that leg! Salt marsh lamb is wonderful and I would risk roasting that rare - but in my experience, a supermarket leg of lamb is best cooked slower and longer. So much depends on the quality of the meat that it can be difficult to advise.
no need for apologies mg, your advice, as always, is very welcome. Yes slow sounds good for this supermarket version (I’m on a list for the next batch of salt marsh … )
 

caseydog

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no need for apologies mg, your advice, as always, is very welcome. Yes slow sounds good for this supermarket version (I’m on a list for the next batch of salt marsh … )

Let us know how it turns out. If you are going low and slow, make sure not to depend on time or temperature to know if it is done. Have a skewer or small knife to probe the meat. When it feels tender, it is done.

CD
 
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