11-12 lb whole bone-in lamb leg


I accidentally purchased a large 11-12 lb bone-in lamb leg (I thought I bought a medium size one, but clicked the wrong link). It will arrive from the online vendor next week and I am emptying my fridge to store it.

I have no prior experience with whole lamb legs or large cuts as such and would appreciate your help. My questions:

  1. I see that some recipes call for wrapping the leg in cotton netting and some don’t. What should I do? I don’t even know what size of cotton netting I will need for such a large cut.

  2. I have a tiny family and for sure there will be lots of leftovers. I prefer medium-rare lamb. Will medium-rare meat stay well in the freezer and in the fridge, assuming I eat it soon? I don’t want to get food poisoned, but don’t want to eat overcooked red meat either.

  3. Can you provide tips about how to cook it so that the whole leg gets cooked as evenly as possible? I am worried that the outside will get overcooked while the innermost part is rare.

  4. Shall I roast it on a rack or on a roast pan? I don’t have a V-shaped rack but a flat rack with holes.

Thank you very much for your help and advice!

1 Like

Well, if you could cook it sous-vide, that would solve the temperature problem. If that is not possible, you could cut out the bones (not that difficult, if you go slowly, with a sharp knife) and then cook part of it and freeze the rest. Otherwise you could cook the whole leg in a moderate oven, say 300℉, until it reaches your preferred temperature, and then cut it into portions. One to serve, the rest to freeze.


Good advice. Or you could saw it in half and freeze one roast. 10 to 12 pounds is a very large leg of lamb. Might it be that you’re getting two?


Thank you. I don’t have the capability to sous vide. Deboning it is a good idea.

I am going to get one big leg. I asked the vendor to change my order but they couldn’t. I don’t have a meat saw.

1 Like

For a tiny family you’ve certainly got your work cut out for you.:slightly_smiling_face: I agree that you should bone it as best as you can. Cook some and freeze the rest in portions. Since you don’t have a saw, hopefully someone will come along and let you know what to do with the bone.


I would hope to be able to bone it first and divide it into reasonable-sized parts, and freeze the separate parts raw. Freezing after cooking is not as nice.

Sharpen up a short-ish, pointy, tough knife. :slight_smile:


Most of them are a bit short for a walking-stick. :smile:

1 Like

What was your plan for the size of lamb leg you wanted? I think that should guide what you do here.

If you were going to cook and then enjoy over a few days, I’d just do the same thing. You can portion and freeze the extra after it’s cooked (cook to rare, that way when you reheat frozen portions, they won’t be overcooked).

Low and slow is relatively foolproof - the size will just affect the time it takes, so plan accordingly.

However the larger piece gives you other options too - you can remove enough meat to get to your desired roast size. Use the carved-off pieces for something different - a nice stew or lamb curry maybe?

I thought this link had some good illustrations of deboning:

And there’s always SE for the rest.


Now, that’s a very big leg. The ones sold by my butcher are about 3kg (6 - 7 pounds). Makes me wonder if it is actually lamb or a larger sheep (so, hogget or nmutton).

For the two of us, we usually buy a half leg (about 1 - 1.5kg) and it does us for a roast dinner with a fair amount of leftovers. We portion leftovers and freeze for later use as, say, sharwama, shepherds pie, or warmed up in a tangy BBQ-esque sauce. It warms up well, IMO.

I think it might be tricky roasting the full leg and keeping it medium rare (which is about the amount of doneness you want with lamb). I don’t understand the cotton netting. Never seen that and am unsure what it’s purpose could be. I think if I had a leg this size, I’d completely debone it and portion it into usable sizes. Roast one piece now and freeze the remainder for future roasts or other dishes.


What can I say. A 12 lb leg of lamb brought the Flintstones to mind.:slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Cross-checking on the internet, a consensus suggests long. slow cooking for what is seemingly a more mature animal.

And, of course, boning it out will provide smaller, meal sized portions.

re “meat saws”, anything like this is fine. Husband donated one of his to me. Wood, bone, all good. He just doesn’t want it back!
Screen Shot 2021-03-07 at 8.21.26 AM

Decide where you want to partition, cut through meat, then insert saw and go.


Miss belle, I believe you live in Texas.



Where’s the beef? :cowboy_hat_face: :crazy_face: :cow2:


See yours and raise you two…“Lady Takes a Chance”, 1943 John Wayne movie in which Jean Arthur tries to woo cowboy Wayne by cooking him dinner. Lamb chops. Wayne is not amused.

1 Like

I’ll call. I’ve got “In Harm’s Way” from 1965 with Patricia Neal slapping around a hunk of cow she’s about to cook for Captain Rockwell “Rock” Torrey aka John Wayne, who later became a Rear Admiral.

It’s a great WWII movie, the casualty rate of the stars is high with Kirk Douglas, the Penguin from “Batman” TV, Brandon De Wilde, the young nurse, and Archie Bunker among others not making it to the end of the film.

The Duke gets off luckily. He loses a leg but ends up with Patricia Neal.

I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm’s way.

John Paul Jones


I fold.


I suspect The Penguin would not be warmly welcomed into Archie Bunker’s house. :smile:
(Neither would Batman, come to think of it.)

A very strange juxtaposition.

1 Like

But where’s the lamb?

1 Like

Escaped. Took off. AWOL. Fugitive.
On the

1 Like

Did ewe have to do the thesaurus bit and ram it down our throats.


I like your post. Maybe we should split the pot. :crossed_swords: