Food Fun and Facts- Different Cuts of Lamb and Leg of Lamb Recipes

Cuts of Lamb and how to use them

Fine quality, large bone:

Use for roast, boiled and may be boned.

Loin - Choice meat. Use for chops and roast.

Rack - Meat and bone good quality. Use for Crown roast, roast, chops.

Breast - Loose grained meat. Use stuffed, roasted or in stew.

Shoulder Bone, good quality. Use for roast.
Shank, Bone, gristle and meat. Use for stew, broth.

Neck - Bone, gristle and meat. Use for stew, soup.

Choosing the Right Wines to Complement Lamb

COMPLEMENT. Similarly flavored foods and wines complement each other.

Example: Citrus-based sauce and a lemony, lightly oaked Chardonnay (such as Kendall-Jackson Avant Chardonnay or Chablis from the Burgundy region of France).

Example: Mushrooms with the earthy flavors of Pinot Noir.

  • CONTRAST. Contrasting flavors balance each other.

    Example: Spicy foods and sweet wines, such as Thai food and an off-dry Riesling.

    Example: Salty foods and crisp, high-acid wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne.

  • MATCH the TENOR. Match a food's weight and intensity to similar elements in wine.

    Example: Delicately flavored foods call for delicate varieties of wine, such as Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.

    Example: Weighty textures and intense flavors are a better match for more powerful wines, such as matching herb-crusted roast lamb with a robust Syrah or Merlot.
  • To learn more about food and wine pairings, visit

    Recipe for Roast Leg of American Lamb


    • 1 boneless leg of lamb, approximately 6 pounds
    For the marinade
    • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
    • 2 lemons, zested
    • 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
    • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
    • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
    • 1 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup kosher salt


    1. In small bowl, combine all ingredients. Rub mixture on leg of lamb. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight.
    2. Bring lamb to room temperature and sprinkle with salt. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into center of leg reads 125°F to 130°F. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

    Serves 8

    Notes, Tips & Suggestions
    Serve with Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Merlot.

    Recipes courtesy of Kendall-Jackson Executive Chef Justin Wangler

    The American Lamb Board

    Recipe for Leg of Lamb for Easter Dinner


    Leg of Lamb, Spring Lamb Preferred, about 4-5 pounds
    Sea Salt to taste  
    Black Pepper to taste
    Unbleached Flour-about 1/4 cup
    Cloves of Garlic, about 6
    Cooking Oil -perhaps 2-3 tablespoons
    Water  1/4 cup, just to cover bottom of pan.
    Potatoes  6 , halved
    Onions  6, quartered
    Carrots 6-8 whole
    Celery 6-8 stalks, whole

    Choose a nice quality leg of lamb, Spring Lamb Preferred.

    Season some flour with sea salt and pepper and mix.
    Now, gently pat the seasoned flour over the entire leg of lamb.
    Next, make several slits on the top (fat side)  and sides of the lamb, and insert chopped cloves of garlic.  Garlic Powder or salt will not work.   (I usually make about 6 slits on top, and 2 on each side)

    Place the leg of lamb in a large roasting pan, fat side up.
    Put about 1/4 cup to 1 cup of water on bottom of the pan, just enough to cover bottom.   Now, take potatoes,  onions, celery and carrots and surround the leg of lamb!  Use as many vegetables as you need to serve your guests. Season again with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the lamb and vegetables with cooking oil to keep moist, but don't saturate.

    Place roasting pan in a 425 degree oven.  This will brown the top fat.   Turn down the oven to 375 degrees after 1/2 hour.  Be sure to turn vegetables after an hour.

    Follow baking times according to the size of lamb you have. a 4-5 pound lamb , with roasting pan full of vegetables, takes about 2 hours, depending on the stove you use.  Be sure to baste the lamb and vegetables with the pan juices a few times while roasting.

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    More Recipes For Easter Dinner
    Great Recipes and Menu's for Easter-Recipes for Side Dishes that go well with Lamb

    Cuts of Beef
    Learn about the different cuts of beef and recipes to go with special cuts of beef

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    Springtime Celebrations

    (Family Features) - Spring is full of celebrations and rich traditions that bring the family around the table for special meals. A savory leg of lamb or a dish with succulent lamb loin chops is a delicious way to enjoy a flavorful meal, no matter the occasion.

    American lamb pairs beautifully with a variety of wines. Wineries such as Kendall-Jackson have a wide selection of wines that bring out lamb's mild, meaty flavor and make it even more irresistible.

    How to Roast a Lamb:
    New Greek Classic Cooking

    A rising star in the food world, Michael Psilakis is co-owner of a growing empire of modern Mediterranean restaurants, and one of the most exciting young chefs in America today.

    In How to Roast a Lamb, the self-taught chef offers recipes from his restaurants and his home in this, his much-anticipated first cookbook.

    Ten chapters provide colorful and heartfelt personal essays that lead into thematically related recipes.

    Gorgeous color photography accompanies many of the recipes throughout.

    Psilakis's cooking utilizes the fresh, naturally healthful ingredients of the Mediterranean augmented by techniques that define New American cuisine.

    Home cooks who have gravitated toward Italian cookbooks for the simple, user-friendly dishes, satisfying flavors, and comfortable, family-oriented meals, will welcome Psilakis's approach to Greek food, which is similarly healthful, affordable, and satisfying to share any night of the week.

    Please click on the above image for more information about this neat cookbook on roasting lamb!

    Tips for Roasting Lamb
    • A bone-in leg of lamb cooks faster than a boneless leg of lamb. Use a good meat thermometer to determine doneness:
      Medium Rare145°F

    • You can sear the lamb roast first in a hot 450°F oven for 15 minutes to seal in the juices and then reduce oven temp to 325°F and continue roasting for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 5 to 10 degrees less than your desired temperature.

    • Remove roast from oven and let rest for 20 minutes before serving. This allows the meat's juices to settle and make carving easier. (As the meat rests, the internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees.)
    • Carve the roast against the grain so the meat will be tender. A naturally tender cut like leg should be sliced about one half inch thick.

    To order a free "Spring Celebrations American Lamb" cook booklet, visit

    Recipe for Fresh Mint and Garlic Marinated Grilled American Lamb Loin Chops with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Green Beans


    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 shallot, minced
    • 1/2 bunch parsley leaves, chopped
    • 1/2 bunch mint leaves, chopped
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 8 lamb loin chops
    For potatoes
    • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
    • 1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
    • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    For green beans
    • Kosher salt
    • 1/2 pound green beans, stems removed
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • Freshly ground black pepper


    1. In bowl, add garlic, shallot, herbs, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
    2. Place lamb chops into a bowl and add 3/4 cup of marinade (reserve remaining marinade for sauce). Mix to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
    3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill lamb to desired temperature (medium-rare is recommended). Remove from heat and allow the lamb chops to rest for 5 minutes. Drizzle chops with the reserved mint and garlic sauce. Serve with roasted potatoes and green beans.
    4. For potatoes: Place a sheet pan in the oven and preheat to 425°F.
    5. In a bowl, combine 1/8 cup of olive oil and remaining ingredients. Toss to coat potatoes.
    6. Pour 1/8 cup olive oil onto hot sheet pan and allow to heat for 1 minute. Place potatoes onto hot sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.
    7. For green beans: In large pot, add 1 tablespoon salt and 2 quarts water; bring to a boil. Add green beans and cook until tender, approximately 4 minutes.
    8. Remove beans from water, place into bowl with butter and toss to coat. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

    Serves 4

    Notes, Tips & Suggestions
    Serve with Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Syrah.

    Recipes courtesy of Kendall-Jackson Executive Chef Justin Wangler

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    Recipe for American Lamb Sandwich with Tzatziki Sauce


    • Leftover roasted leg of lamb
    For tzatziki sauce
    • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled, cut in half and seeded
    • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
    • 2 tablespoons fresh mint
    • 8 ounces Greek yogurt
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper


    1. Grate cucumber with a box grater. Place grated cucumber in a strainer, sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 20 minutes.
    2. In a bowl, add dill, mint, yogurt, garlic and lemon juice. Squeeze as much liquid from cucumber as possible and add cucumber to the yogurt. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    3. To serve: Fill warm flatbread or pita with sliced leftover leg of lamb, thinly sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and chilled tzatziki sauce.

    Notes, Tips & Suggestions
    Recipes courtesy of Kendall-Jackson Executive Chef Justin Wangler

    Buy angus beef online and enjoy pure Certified Angus Beef from Certified Steak and Seafood Company.