Choose the Right Cut
The best lamb cuts for roasting include leg, breast, rack, shoulder, rump and loin. If you’re not sure which cut to buy, ask your butcher for assistance.
Season the Meat
Lamb meat is very flavoursome, so it doesn’t require much added seasoning. If you’d like to keep things simple, just rub with lamb with olive oil, salt and pepper before roasting. Lamb is also robust enough to be paired with bold-flavoured seasonings like rosemary, oregano, thyme, lemon zest, cumin, coriander, mint and garlic if desired.
A popular way to season a roast lamb is to make small incisions in the surface of the meat and push slivers of garlic and sprigs of herbs into these slits – you can do this right before roasting, or the day before if you want more intense flavour. Another method is to chop up the herbs/seasonings and rub the mixture evenly over the surface of the meat (if you want bold flavour, cover the seasoned lamb in plastic wrap and leave it overnight in your fridge).
Tip: Don’t add salt to your lamb until you are ready to pop it in the oven, as salt can draw moisture from the meat.
Tips and Temperatures
Before you put your lamb in the oven, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This will make sure that it roasts evenly. We also recommend that you use a roasting rack, as this will ensure even browning and heat circulation around the meat.
The temperature and cooking time that you need to cook your lamb will depend on the amount of external fat and marbling size of the roast:
For lean lamb
- Cook at 230ºC for the first 15 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 175ºC. The meat will take about 25 minutes per 500 grams to reach medium rare.
- Switching from a high to low temperature browns the meat and prevents it from becoming dry or overcooked in the middle.
For fattier lamb
- Roast the meat at 160ºC for 30 minutes per 500 grams of meat (to reach medium rare). Cooking at this temperature over a longer period of time allows the fat to slowly melt and infuse the meat.
We recommend that you cook with a meat thermometer so that don’t under or over cook your roast. See the recommended cooking temperatures.
Let it Rest
When your roast is within 5ºC of its ideal cooked temperature, take it out of the oven, place it in an aluminium foil tent and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. As you let it rest, the internal temperature will rise, the muscle fibres will relax and the juices (which come to the surface during cooking) will return to the centre of the roast. Resting your roast ensures that it will be tender, juicy and more flavoursome to eat.
Want more information about roast lamb? Check out how to tie a roast and everything you need to know about buying and cooking roast leg of lamb.
Want to save yourself the time of roasting? Our Cedric Walter Ready Cooked Roast Lamb is available from Woolworths stores throughout Australia (you’ll find it in the roast chicken section!).
The information in this post is adapted from All Recipes.