How to de-bone or butterfly a leg of lamb
Follow our step-by-step guide to de-boning (also called butterflying) a leg of lamb, and then have a go at the great recipes on this page.
Follow these four easy steps to make the most of your leg of lamb, then roast it in the oven or pop it on the barbie for a summery twist.
Make sure your knife is sharp. If you don’t have a boning knife, a small paring knife with a rigid blade will work. Rinse the joint and pat dry with kitchen paper. Put the lamb on a non-slip chopping board, then carefully run your knife along both sides of the thin shin bone to release the flesh.
In careful strokes, run your knife down the white line of fat that runs along the bone down to the thigh (you can feel the bone if you push your fingers into the meat). Cut through the flesh to reveal the bone.
To make sure the lamb cooks evenly, it needs to be more or less the same thickness all over.
Once the bone is exposed, work your knife around the bone towards the hip joint, keeping your knife as close as you can to the bone to prevent wastage. Once the thigh has been released completely, pull up the bone and work around the knee joint and shin bone until you can release the complete bone.
Lay out the boned leg in front of you, then cut out and discard the cartilage and any big lumps of fat. To make sure the lamb cooks evenly, it needs to be more or less the same thickness all over. With your knife lying flat on the meat, slice horizontally into the thickest part of the lamb until you get about two-thirds through. Open it up like a book and the leg should be almost equal thickness all over.
Now have a go at these butterflied lamb recipes:
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