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leg o' lamb: to butterfly or not to butterfly?

edited 12:33AM in EggHead Forum
Folks,[p]That is the question for my Easter dinner. Could someone hip me to the pros and cons of bone-in and bone-out leg of lamb? I've the JJ leg of lamb recipe for my bone-in option, but can only speculate on how the butterflied leg would cook best. I would need a mighty large drip pan, I guess, and cut the cooking time in half or so?[p]

Comments

  • JazzyQ,
    We cooked a butterflied leg not too long ago -- the butcher actually used a couple of legs, as the lambs were small (as they are supposed to be), and rolled them without the bones. I don't remember the timing, I think we figured 30 minutes per pound, and it was reaching medium-rare doneness (measured by Polder) sooner than we planned, so we pulled it early, then finished it quickly in the oven when we were ready --no harm done, and certainly better than having it cook past medium rare. It was tender, delicious, tasty, and perfect. I can't imagine it would have been tastier on the bone, and my experience with lamb is that it seems a lot is lost and the slices are messier when carved, cooked, off the bone. We left that work to the butcher, and he did a good job of removing fat, too, so that inside the tied role it was good and lean, dense meat. All we had to do was slice it to our desired thickness, what a luxury. We used a Greek marinade, garlic, oregano, olive oil, fresh lemon. I do think it's more handsome and probably easier to cook rolled and tied, rather than flat. Have fun, and don't overcook quality lamb. -- km

  • JazzyQ,[p]A quick addendum: our butcher is the son of a Greek restauranteur Boston immigrant, and had a good laugh at our feeling that lamb is handsomer butterflied, rolled and sliced rather than carved off the bone. His father used to cook whole marinated lambs over a pit for his huge holiday parties, then the guests would just tear into them. -- km

  • JJJJ Posts: 951
    JazzyQ,
    Personal preference. I just feel that bone in adds flavor to the meat. I have had no complaints when I cooked leg of lamb at the last 2 EGGtoberfests in Atlanta.

  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 515
    Lamb is our favorite meat - no matter how it is cooked. Butterflied legs are often grilled and whole legs (with or without a bone) can be slow cooked (see my lamb recipe on GFW's site). We have also cooked whole lambs on a spit and recently consumed a baby lamb (3 months) at an assado in Chile. This lamb was splayed out on a thin spit and cooked indirectly alongside of an open wood fire much like the native Americans do with salmon in Alaska. Lamb is the best...enjoy! Regards, Marvin

  • davidmdavidm Posts: 64
    JazzyQ,[p]I like cooking a leg of lamb butterflied and flat on the grill. It's fast, and because the meat isn't absolutely uniform, the rare folks can have theirs and the more-than-medium folks (and there are a few in my family) can have theirs, too.[p]I marinate in garlic, olive oil and rosemary and Egg at 400 degrees. Depending on the size of the leg, you can easily be done in a half-hour.[p]I must say, though, that butterflied and rolled makes a better presentation.[p]David[p]
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