A boneless leg of lamb is an incredibly versatile cut of meat. It has a distinct, meaty taste that pairs well with a variety of bold flavors and lends itself to a number of fuss-free cooking methods. While a boneless leg of lamb makes a delicious holiday roast, this particular cut can also be cooked on the grill or in a slow-cooker.
Roasting lamb, or cooking it uncovered in the oven, produces a well-browned exterior crust and a tender, juicy center — but the leg must be held into a round shape as it cooks so that the meat cooks evenly. Many boneless leg of lamb roasts come packed in an oven-safe net; those that do not can be tied with oven-safe kitchen twine. An easy way to truss a leg of lamb is to simply tie twine around it the short way, 4 to 6 times at even intervals. Then tie twine around the leg once, running the twine in the longer direction around the roast.
To roast the lamb, pat it dry with a clean paper towel and rub it all over with a combination of olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs and spices. Place the leg of lamb in a heavy roasting pan, then place the pan in the refrigerator for two hours so that the meat can absorb the seasoning.
After two hours, remove the roast from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast the lamb in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue roasting the lamb until a thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit; this will take approximately 25 to 30 minutes per pound. Let the lamb rest for 15 minutes before slicing into it.
The day before you want to grill the leg of lamb, spread it open onto a cutting board and cover it on all sides with a mixture of minced garlic, olive oil and chopped herbs. Put the lamb in a glass baking dish and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, remove the lamb from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes. Spray the grill grates with a non-stick spray or brush them lightly with oil. Season the lamb well with salt and pepper, then grill it over medium-high heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, about 20 minutes per side. Let the lamb rest for 15 minutes before slicing into it.
Braising is a slow-cooking method that helps develop flavor and tenderize meat. To braise a boneless leg of lamb, tie it into shape with oven-safe kitchen twine as you would for roasting and heat the boiler to high. Place the leg of lamb in a roasting pan and broil it until it’s browned on all sides, about 12 to 13 minutes per side.
Take the lamb out of the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Add roughly chopped root vegetables, such as carrots, onions and potatoes, to the roasting pan, along with fresh herbs and chicken stock or wine. Add enough liquid to cover the bottom of the roasting pan and come about ½ an inch up the side of the roast. Season the roast and the vegetables with salt and pepper and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
Cook the leg of lamb until it’s fork-tender, from four to five hours, turning it once halfway through the cooking time. Let the lamb rest for 15 minutes before cutting into it.
Prepare a boneless leg of lamb for cooking in a slow-cooker by simply patting the lamb dry with a clean paper towel. Rub it all over with a combination of olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs and spices. Place the leg of lamb in a heavy dish, then place the dish in the refrigerator for two hours.
Move the lamb into the slow-cooker, add ½ a cup of liquid, and cook the roast on low for six to eight hours. Let the lamb rest for 15 minutes before cutting into it.