Hayden Quinn shares his top tips for cooking the perfect mini lamb roast.
What is a lamb mini roast?
Lamb mini roasts are cut from the varying muscles that make up the lamb leg. Small and lean they are easy to roast. They weigh in at about 375-500g each…serving two people very nicely.
As they are lean they suit high heat roasting and are best cooked to no more than a medium doneness, so they remain moist and tender.
They can be flavoured with herb or spice rubs, and are the perfect roast for a tasty crumb topping or crust.
- If you have time, take the lamb from the fridge about 15 minutes before cooking. This helps the lamb roast cook evenly.
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
- Use a small roasting dish, so pan juices do not burn and give a burnt taste to the roast.
- Mini roasts are best placed on a rack in the roasting dish. Raising the lamb allows it to brown evenly. Placing the roast on a bed of vegies (cut into sticks) is another way to raise it.
- Use the juices in the roasting dish to baste the roast as it cooks. Add a little stock to the dish if there’s only a small amount of pan juices. Or make a baste to give your roast extra flavour. An easy baste is a mix of a little olive oil and lemon juice.
When is it done?
Approximate cooking times will be:
- Rare: 15-20 min per 500g
- Medium: 20-25 min per 500g
- Well done: 25-30 min per 500g
Check if it’s ready just before the estimated cooking time is up and for accuracy use a meat thermometer.
If not using a meat thermometer, you can test the roast’s doneness with the back of your tongs. Try pressing the outside centre of the meat lightly with tongs. If it feels soft it’s in the rare range. If it feels springy it’s medium. Any firmer to touch and it’s on its way to well done.
We all need a little rest
Give the lamb time to rest after cooking. This gives the juices in the meat a chance to redistribute, giving a moister and more tender result. Cover the roast loosely with foil and rest it for 10-15 minutes before carving.