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Changing a recipe to cook a boneless leg of lamb instead of bone-in.

I am going to be making a recipe that calls for a 6 - 7 lb. bone-in leg of lamb. It was wonderful when I made it with a bone-in lamb. This time I ended up buying a smaller(about 4+ lb.), boneless leg of lamb instead. I am not sure how to adapt the recipe, which calls for an initial 20 minutes at 450, and then another 1 to 1 1/4 hrs. at 350 for medium rare. Should I keep the initial 450, and then cut down the baking time at 350? Thanks for any ideas you may have. And, Happy Holidays everyone!

Answer »

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added over 2 years ago

Yes, I'd keep the initial 450, and then it might take longer -- bone in cooks faster. But keep checking it!

bella s.f. added over 2 years ago

Thanks Amanda. I didn't realize that bone-in cooks faster. Does the bone conduct the heat?

nutcakes added over 2 years ago

Do you really think it is shorter time for bone in on a smaller roast like this?

bella s.f. added over 2 years ago

nutcakes, I didn't know that bone-in cooks faster until I read Amanda's answer. For some reason I thought just the opposite. The 4.27lb. roast that I have is boneless. I will be cooking it rolled up, not flattened out. I really wanted to have a plan ahead of time, because I don't want to be opening the oven a lot to check on the roast. That being said, I will open the oven door as much as I need to, to make sure that the meat does not go beyond medium rare.

nutcakes added over 2 years ago

I like your plan, the 450 will promote browning, but I'd cook it at 300-325 instead of 350. It will take much less time than a bone-in roast. Start checking the internal temperature after 30 minutes at the lower temperature, then at least every 10 minutes until it reaches 135F. Tent with foil and let rest 10-15 min before carving.

bella s.f. added over 2 years ago

Thanks, Nutcakes. I had thought that boneless would cook faster, but Amanda said that bone-in cooks faster. I like your idea of turning the oven down a bit. I guess that I just need to keep an eye on it.

amysarah added over 2 years ago

It also depends on whether you're doing the boned leg 'as is' (i.e., a big flat-ish piece) or rolling it, in which case you'll have a thicker, denser roast which will take a bit longer than unrolled.

Btw, rolling a boned leg around fresh herbs (e.g., rosemary, thyme, parsley), garlic, s&p and tying it works well and is easier to cook to a uniform temp...I usually do it rolled as a roast, but flat on the grill - having some parts rarer than others is sometimes useful when feeding a group with varying tastes.

bella s.f. added over 2 years ago

Yes, amysarah, the roast will be rolled for even cooking.

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