How to carve a lamb roast

There are a few ways to carve a roast dependant upon the cut you have roasted and your preference for serving.To make carving a leg of lamb easier, ask your butcher to leave the shank bone attached to the leg (not sawn in half). Hold the shank with a clean cloth or thick paper towel. If the shank bone has been removed, secure the leg with a carving fork at the shank (skinny) end.

Carving a leg of lamb - Method 1

Step 1 – Place the leg on a carving board and hold it firmly by the end of the shank bone. Remove two or three slices from the thin side, cutting parallel to the length of the leg.

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Step 2 – Turn the roast so that it rests on the cut surface, which forms a base. About 12cm up from the shank end, remove a small wedge shaped piece of meat.                 

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Step 3 – Starting at the wedge, cut slices about 2cm thick, working vertically to the bone. Cut through the meat to the bone. Then, starting at the wedge, cut horizontally along the bone to release the slices.

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Carving a leg of lamb – Method 2

Place the leg on a carving board and hold it firmly by the end of the shank bone. Remove two or three slices from the thin side, cutting parallel to the length of the leg.

Turn the roast so that it rests on the cut surface, which forms a base. Tilt the leg slightly, cut a slice about 2cm thick from this meaty side, and continue to cut slices, always cutting away from you and parallel to the bone.

Turn the leg to expose the flatter side and continue to carve.

Carving an easy- carve leg of lamb

Hold the shank with one hand and carve the lamb as you would a loaf of bread. Use a slicing rather than sawing action, making use of the full length of the blade in a gentle follow-through motion with each slice.

Carving a rack of lamb

Place the rack of lamb on the carving board. To steady the rack use a fork, piercing gently at one end. If the first cutlet looks like it will be small when it’s cut, include 2 bones in the initial cut. This establishes a straight cut.

Slice straight down between the second and third rib bones and serve the first two ribs as one cutlet. Cut the remaining ribs one at a time. Be careful not to cut at an angle or you will have three bones and no meat at the end.

To serve, pick up the cutlet on the flat of the knife, holding it firmly with the carving fork. 

Carving a crown roast of lamb

Place the crown roast on to the carving board. Steady the roast with a carving fork, and slice downward between each pair of ribs. Run the knife closely along each rib. Keep close to the bone, always to the right or the left, depending on your starting point. This way the slices will be regular, with all ribs carved whole. Remove one chop at a time, by lifting it on the knife blade and using the fork to steady it. Generally, two chops and a portion of stuffing are served on each plate.

Boned and rolled lamb roasts

Three lamb joints – the shoulder, forequarter and sometimes the leg – are available in the boned and rolled form. Small roasts of this nature can easily be held with an ordinary dessertspoon and fork. This technique avoids any loss of meat juices through unnecessary piercing. Slice straight down or, to obtain larger slices, cut diagonally. Slices should be about 2cm thick. Use the full length of the blade in a slicing rather than sawing action. No force is required, as a sharp knife needs little more than guiding through the meat.

Netted lamb roasts

In some cases, boned and rolled lamb joints are offered for sale in net packs. Netted joints should be raised from the bottom of the baking dish by using a roasting rack. This prevents any possibility of the netting sticking to the dish during cooking.

To carve, cut open the netting at one end of the joint and peel back 5cm. Slice downwards through the joint and across the grain. Peel back the netting in stages.

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