The bone running through the center makes it a little more difficult to carve. A lovely joint for roasting, on or off the bone, because it carries a little more fat than the leg but not as much as the shoulder.
This is an inexpensive, small boneless joint made of well-flavoured meat with no waste. When it has been boned and rolled around a dry, lean, well-flavoured stuffing, it produces a beautifully flavored, tender and inexpensive roasting joint.
‘Guard of honor’ is made of two racks of best end tied side by side, with the bones facing inwards to form an arch. Noisettes of lamb are made from a boned and rolled loin.
Get all the preparation tips and cooking times you need to roast lamb that's crusty on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. We'll share tips for how to choose the right cuts of lamb, how to season it, and the ideal roasting times and temperatures.
The leg and rack are the most tender cuts of meat on a lamb, and are at their best when roasted. This succulent roast is often served “Drenched,” with the fat and meat trimmed from between the ribs and the bones scraped clean and protruding outward.
Your butcher should be able to prep the roast for you; remember to ask for the meat trimmings if you want to make soup later on. Lamb is flavorful enough on its own that it doesn't need much seasoning, yet robust enough that it pairs beautifully with any number of boldly flavored seasonings, like rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, lemon zest, cumin, coriander, mint, and garlic.
Trim some excess fat and any silver skin; 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 overnight for the best flavor. Another popular way to season a roast is to make small incisions in the surface of the meat and push slivers of garlic and sprigs of herbs into the slits.
And instead of the jelly, Chef John serves his rack of lamb with a slightly sweet vinaigrette. Before roasting lamb, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Meat cooked with this method will take about 30 minutes per pound to reach medium rare. This means the animal has led a happy and healthy life, often born and reared outdoors in small numbers where it can forage and exercise as nature intended.
Lamb is a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals, but just be sure to choose leaner cuts on most occasions, reserving the fattier pieces for weekend treats. To maximize the flavor, cook lamb shoulder on the bone, so the meat simply falls apart when pulled with a fork.
Sit it on top of wedges of onion, add some liquid, cook on a high temperature to get the skin lovely and golden, then cover and turn down to low (around 160ºC) for 4 to 5 hours (depending on the weight of the shoulder). Chops and racks can be French trimmed, where the meat is scraped from the ends of the rib bones, which looks super-impressive on a plate.
Rub it all over with a herb oil, some garlic and even a little mustard, if you like, roast in the oven, then finish off on the barbecue to get a great gnarly smoked flavor. Taken from the lower part of the back legs, there is a lot of collagen in the shank, which, when cooked slowly, gives the meat a lovely soft, melting texture, making this another cut that’s perfect for stews and slow-cooking.
Keep things British and cook with a stout or porter to add real depth, or go Moroccan with a mouth-watering tagline. It goes well with a whole load of flavors and is delicious served with a great mash when cooked low and slow.
If you want to make a delicious lamb marinade, try this beautifully fragrant recipe from Jamie, perfect for shoulder and leg cuts: This recipe is so good, yet it doesn’t require too much time, effort or ingredients.
This recipe is so good, yet it doesn’t require too much time, effort or ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.
Using a sharp knife, score the top side of the lamb by making shallow cuts all over. In a small bowl, combine garlic, olive oil, rosemary, thyme, Dijon, salt and pepper.
Place lamb, fat side up, on a rack in the prepared roasting pan. Spread garlic mixture evenly over the lamb, rubbing in thoroughly into the scored cuts.
Eating it feels like a primally satisfying experience that is hard to explain in words. Many people are bothered by the general “funk” of lamb, but the rack is pretty agreeable and doesn’t have as much of this strong smell and taste.
It’s a good gateway for people who want to begin enjoying lamb but are put off by the flavor. For today’s recipe, I added fresh rosemary to the roster, which is my favorite herb and incredibly complimentary to the flavor of the lamb.
If you desire to add other various flavors, feel free to incorporate your favorite herbs and spices into the ghee. Thyme, mint, and parsley are other great herbs for lamb, and flavorings like mustard or garlic also go well here.
The whole process is quite simple, and involves slathering Drenched racks of lamb with a rosemary ghee and salt, and roasting in the oven. For this recipe, I recommend purchasing racks of lamb that have already been Drenched, which should be pretty standard available.
I can’t stress how important it is to plan ahead and remove the meat from the fridge before cooking. There have been times when I didn’t plan ahead and cooked various meats straight cold from the fridge, and it’s always way worse.
Taking the chill off the meat gives you a more even cook and also makes for a juicier end product. Plus, it has a great consistency for slathering on the lam and holding all the rosemary evenly in place.
Once you’ve rubbed the rosemary ghee all over the meaty portions of the racks, sprinkle salt all over: The ghee also does a great job of holding all the salt in place for an even application.
Roast the racks for about 22 minutes for a rare target (see recipe box for more discussion on oneness and timing): It is essential to get a reading with a thermometer (affiliate), and keep in mind that the temperature will rise about 5 more degrees during rest.
To serve, cut in between the bones to turn the rack into individual lamb lollipops: I recommend wrapping in foil and heating in a 250F oven for about 15 minutes, or until warm enough to eat.
Remove the lamb from the fridge 90 minutes before cooking and set out at room temperature. Place the racks on the foil-lined pan with the fat cap facing up, and the curves of the bones going down (see blog post for picture if necessary).
*Cook times will vary slightly depending on the size of the racks and oven variability. Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.