How to Cook Roast Leg of Lamb

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Cooking a roast leg of lamb requires you to keep a few key things in mind. Cook roast leg of lamb with help from the Director at L'Academie de Cuisine in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Southern French Cooking
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chef Patrice from L'Academie de Cuisine. Today, I'm super excited, a leg of lamb, oh it could be scary, but it's nothing to it if you follow the directions step-by-step, and I'm here to show you how. I removed about 50 percent of the fat that was on top and you can see here and I left some of it. That's very important because any oven we're going to cook the leg of lamb for probably an hour and a half so you want the fat to render and go inside the meat and keep it nice and moist. Now I prefer to cook mine with the bone in, you can see here, all the way through. The reason for that is because having the bone in is you know, if I open the meat, lay out the meat and then cut through the muscles, the blood is going to come out and it's going to be drier. This is the best way to make it is leaving the bone in and I'll show you later on the way to cut it. It's not very complicated. You can see with a good knife you can do a good job alright? The first thing I want to do I'm going to put the paste with some garlic, rosemary, fresh thyme and some salt and some black pepper. We're going to mix all this into a mixture and insert it inside the meat to get more flavor. It's going to be intense. It's going to be great. The first thing I'm going to do I'm going to make some holes with the knife throughout the muscles in here. Make it a dipping of that we can insert the paste. I'm going to go ahead and have about two, four, six cloves of garlic right into the machine, some fresh thyme. I have about one tablespoon, I mean that was rosemary, by the way. I thought you noticed the difference, two tablespoons of fresh thyme, here it is, some salt, a good amount of salt right here. I'm using kosher salt but you can use any type of salt that you like. Let's go ahead and bring some black peppercorn, a good amount also, very good and what I want to do is blend this in the machine and add a little bit of olive oil to try to get a nice paste. Oh look at this, nice and pasty and oily, smells terrific obviously. Alright, in a pastry bag, very well and if I have some left over what I'm going to do is keep this left over and at the end I'm going to add it to the jus, you can see how good that's going to be huh? Alright, let me see what's going on over here. We bring the paste right here and I'm going to insert in those little holes that I've done earlier, there you go, you see, you can keep your fancy serranger at the store. This is much cheaper and you know, every good kitchen has a pastry bag in a drawer, there we go. So what I'm going to do is just take a little bit of olive oil, just put it in the bottom. Now what's important when you cook the leg of lamb it's the temperature. Obviously what we need to do in here is sear the outside of the leg at a high temperature to coagulate the protein and therefore, your juice from the leg stays on the inside. Now if you go and put this in the low oven, what's going to happen, you're going to start warming it up, the jus is going to come out and there's nothing on the outside that's going to stop that jus from coming out. This is very important. This is what makes the difference between day and night. You need to give it a good sear. So my oven over there it's set up at about 475 degree. I'm going to put it in that oven at that temperature for probably 10 to 20 minutes and see I start to get some nice color. But let me go ahead and take the temperature. It's very important in the inside temperature at least at 125, 126 and then when I let it rest it's going to go up to above 130 and I'm looking at a good medium on the inside. So I've got a digital thermometer in here, we're going up to 110, 115, alright very nice, I'm approaching the 125, beautiful. I think let me just, oh it's warm on the inside so this is perfect. So I'm going to remove it from the oven and place it on the table right here and what I want to do now is take the leg out of the roasting pan and let it rest on the cooling rack like this one. This way the air can circulate around it and the leg doesn't sit in its own juice because some of the juice might come out alright? I have the roasting pan back on the heat. What you want to do now is start to get a little bit of more color on those vegetables and here you can see that over here. I'm going to go ahead and stir it like that just to make sure I get some communization. I'm building up my jus or my sauce. Let's talk about carving this piece of leg. Now the bone is still on it and if you think about it, the bone goes from here to there. So this is this muscle in here, the leg, it's the one that doesn't have the bone inside so we're going to be cutting against the grain of the meat and if you go, if you look at a closeup over here you can see the grain of the meat going this way so I want to go and cut against it. It makes it much more tender and that's the way you need to carve it. So I'm going to hold the bone like this and I'm going to go from here and carve it. Now where I come from this is the kind of stuff you do on Sunday because you have a little more time to cook. In the South of France we also like to use tomatoes for garnishes so today I'm going to set this up with some potatoes, some tomatoes with garlic and parsley, some asparagus, and our au jus on the side. Whew, if it's not Sunday yet, it will come very fast. Alright guys, beautiful slices again here, let's go ahead and put that on the plate, just you know, when you plate, you have to picture the plate already finished so I'm going to put the meat in here. I've got some potatoes and the tomatoes and au jus right there in that little container, it's going to look fantastic guys. I'm Chef Patrice from L'Academie de Cuisine here is a leg of lamb. It's a nice vegetable and nice a jus, a'voila.

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