Last Saturday my mom and I picked up two nice pieces of leg of lamb at the farmers market. My mom had wanted a butterflied leg, but they only had them with the bone in. None of the pieces they had were big enough, so we got two. Despite my complete lack of butchering skills, I decided that it couldn’t be that hard to bone a leg of lamb.
I was sure that Julia would come through for us, but the Art of French Cooking only provided us with an illustration and an assurance that though a butcher could provide us with a boned leg of lamb, we could certainly do it ourselves. From this I concluded that it must be so simple to do that Julia didn’t feel it necessary to provide instructions. In fact it really was pretty simple, and would have been a piece of cake if I had a good knife. My parents don’t exactly have the sharpest knives.
Its really just a matter of finding the right place to start cutting. If you just take a few minutes to get to know your piece of meat and figure out where the bones are, you’ll find a natural line to cut along. Then you just have to cut down the length of the bone, and then run the knife along the bone as close to the bone as possible until the bone is free.
When you’re done you’ll have a big slab of meat that you can lay out flat. Your brother might want the bone for his dog. Don’t give it to him. Make some stock instead.
Now chop up a few cloves of garlic and a handful of fresh rosemary. Add a splash of wine vinegar, lots of olive oil and some salt and pepper.
Lay out the meat skin side down and rub the garlic mixture all over it.
Now roll it back up like it was before you started cutting and tie it securely with some twine. You might need some help. Don’t tie it too tight.
Then rub whatever garlic oil you have left all over the outside. If you have time let the meat rest for a while.
Roast at 400 degrees until the outside is nice and brown and the internal temperature reaches about 140 degrees (for medium). Cover with foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing. The pan juices make a very nice gravy just the way they are, or with the addition of a splash of wine.