Roast lamb leg is enjoyed by many British households on Easter Sunday, best served with a spoonful of fresh mint sauce and seasonal vegetables. However, like most red meats, lamb can be tricky to cook perfectly in the oven and will quickly turn tough when roasted incorrectly. Chef Dennis Littley has shared his exclusive hacks to achieve the best results.
Known simply as Chef Dennis, a classically trained chef with more than 40 years of experience in the kitchen, he explained that roast lamb is easier to cook than some may think.
He told Express.co.uk that securing perfectly “tender” slices of meat boils down to the temperature and most importantly, patience.
According to the chef, who is an expert in fine dining, a meat thermometer is every home cook’s best friend when it comes to the Easter Sunday roast dinner.
Dennis said: “Use a meat thermometer to ensure the lamb is cooked to your desired temperature. For medium-rare, cook until the internal temperature reaches 57C.”
For those who prefer a medium texture, the lamb should be allowed to cook for a little longer, until it reaches 63C
And while it’s not the best way to serve lamb, well-done results will occur once the temperature reaches 71C.
While cooking is arguably the most important step, Dennis explained that resting the meat is also crucial.
He said: “Let the lamb rest for at least 15 minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and juicy.”
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Dennis added: “Tent the lamb with aluminium foil while it rests to keep it warm.
“You should also consider marinating the lamb before cooking to add flavour and help keep it moist.
“Basting the lamb with pan juices or a mixture of olive oil and herbs during cooking will also add plenty of moisture and flavour.”
When it comes to the taste, there’s plenty that can be done to infuse the tender meat.
One of which is to use a meat injector to flood the core of the lamb leg with a mixture of flavoursome ingredients.
Dennis recommended a combination of melted butter and fragrant herbs and spices, like rosemary.
This should be done before roasting to maximise moisture and enhance the taste of the roasted meat.
While this all takes time and patience, the chef noted that there are other ways to speed up the process.
He said: “If you’re short on time, consider cooking the lamb sous vide before searing it in a hot pan or on the grill.
“Sous vide cooking involves vacuum-sealing the lamb in a plastic bag and cooking it in a water bath at a precise temperature. This method allows you to cook the lamb to the perfect temperature without overcooking it or drying it out.
“For added flavour and moisture using this method, you can stuff the lamb with a mixture of herbs, garlic, and lemon zest before roasting.”
Lamb is best served fresh from the oven though it can be reheated as long as the leftovers are stored in a fridge within two hours of being cooked. Always reheat until piping hot.
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