Merino Lamb Boneless Legs
Food & Wine Magazine called Merino “supremely delicate & tender” & “the next great lamb” in their January 2014 issue.
A classic roasting cut, leg of lamb offers delicious flavor and good tenderness when slow cooked at low temperatures. It can also be cut into cubes or strips for sautéing, stir frying or grilling. Compared to lamb shoulder, the leg can be cooked similarly, but tends to be leaner.
Merino is a premium lamb variety with meat that is fine grained, silky, succulent and marbled, without the heavy fat deposits found in conventional lamb. Its flavor is less gamy, and more elegant, with a clean palate. Because it's leaner, it's best cooked at slightly lower temperatures for less time.
The lamb on the American market is commodity lamb – a variety of breeds and inter-bred lamb are represented without any regard for the eating qualities of any particular breed. Merino are exceptional – they offer highly desirable meat and wool characteristics just as Black Angus cattle produce exceptional beef.
Because Merino fleece grows fine and soft – they are raised to be sheared for the New Zealand top end apparel wool industry. Their meat is exceptionally tender, fine textured and elegant – with a taste that is less intense than conventional lamb. Chefs at fine dining restaurants love it because its more delicate flavor allows them to showcase more complexity in their dishes.
Merino are a slower growing, naturally leaner breed. Because of their heavier wool, they are better suited to high altitudes than in the lowlands where conventional lamb is farmed.
Silere alpine-origin merino is not just free range, it's open range. The merino roam huge, idyllic high-mountain range pastures in New Zealand, grazing on native herbs and tussock grasses.
Store Merino boneless legs in your freezer until you’re ready to use them, then thaw as many as you need.
RECIPES & TIPS
Merino boneless legs can be cooked similarly to conventional boneless leg of lamb – roasted whole or cubed.
Before roasting, first butterfly the leg of lamb (cut horizontally down the middle without cutting all the way through, then open it up like a book) and trim any silver skin you find (how to remove silver skin).
Merino legs will likely cook faster (and be done at lower temperatures) than boneless legs from conventional lamb. To cook to medium rare, we recommend removing it from the heat when its internal temperature reaches 110˚F, then resting the meat.
Merino’s less intense flavor makes it much more adaptable – it can be paired with a wider variety of sides, sauces and seasonings that conventional lamb might overpower. Traditional lamb pairings like mint, thyme, rosemary, mustard and red wine will still work, however.