A whole one will weigh between 5 and 6 pounds (2.25 to 2.75 kg) and feed 8 people.
It can be cut into a lower end (aka knuckle or shank end) and an upper end (aka sirloin or fillet end.)
The upper end is considered to have more flavour; the lower part is leaner. The upper end can be further cut into sirloin chops, or a sirloin roast.
The centre portion of the leg can be used for steaks suitable for dry-heat cooking.
Leg steaks can be made, either boneless or bone-in.
The whole leg can be boned and either rolled or flattened. When boned, it can be easier to cook it to rare.
When rolled it can be roasted. When flattened (aka butterflied), it can be cooked under the broiler (aka grill in the UK) or on the grill (aka BBQ outside the US.) There will be a range of cooking doneness owing to the varying thickness of it, so everyone should be pleased.
With the bone-in it can be roasted whole.
The lower end on its own needs moist cooking.
To butterfly means to remove the bones from a piece of meat, then open the meat up and flatten it. You can have a butcher do this, or do it at home. To butterfly a leg of lamb:
- put it on a cutting board;
- cut down onto and around the large bone;
- as you go, turn the leg a bit at a time until the meat is largely free of the bone;
- then finish any small cuts needed to free it;
- remove the large bone;
- then look for small bones remaining and cut them out;
- open the meat up, flatten it using a rolling pin or a meat mallet.
Let lamb come to just room temperature before roasting.
Alternatively, you can roll the boned leg back up again into a roast, tying it with butcher string.
Cook to 140 F (60 C); let rest to 145 F (63 C.)
Parle, Stevie. Leg of lamb roasted with artichokes recipe: When roasting a leg rare, it’s better to take it off the bone so you can cook it easily and evenly. London: Daily Telegraph. 25 March 2011.