How to Cook Lamb Forequarters


Forequarter refers to meat from the lamb's front legs. Cut from the rib to the shoulder, most market forms of lamb forequarter are rolled and tied for aesthetic purposes and uniform cooking. Legs of lamb respond well to oven roasting, and the moisture released during cooking, referred to as jus, often comprises an accompanying sauce after thickening.

Things You'll Need

  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Roasting rack or wire rack and sheet pan
  • Meat thermometer
  • Aluminum foil
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Coat the lamb forequarter in olive oil and season to taste with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and choice of seasonings. Herbs used in classical preparations include mint, rosemary, thyme and sage.

  • Place a roasting rack or wire rack on a sheet pan and place the lamb on the wire rack. Put the lamb in the oven.

  • Roast the lamb forequarter 20 to 25 minutes per lb. for medium-rare, 35 to 30 minutes for medium and 35 minutes for well-done. Check the internal temperature of the forequarter by inserting a meat thermometer in its thickest portion. Do not touch the bone with the thermometer when checking temperature. Medium-rare lamb has an internal temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, medium measures between 140 degrees Fahrenheit and well-done has a temperature exceeding 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Loosely cover the lamb in aluminum foil and rest it for 15 minutes before serving or cutting. The moisture within the lamb redistributes during rest and contributes to a juicy final product.

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