How to bone and butterfly a leg of lamb


| Tips & Tricks | How to bone and butterfly a leg of lamb

How to bone and butterfly a leg of lamb

In this Beef + Lamb Masterclass video, James Smith, better known as "The Tattooed Butcher", takes you through the simple steps that you need to know before you try boning and butterflying a lamb leg at home.

Butterflying a leg of lamb is a great intermediate butchery skill to learn, and a butterflied lamb has many advantages over a regular leg of lamb. Firstly, butterflying a lamb leg increases the surface area of the meat, meaning it can take on more flavour from marinades or spice rubs and can be stuffed with flavourings before being rolled and tied. Additionally, not only will butterflying lamb cut down the cooking time, but it will also make cooking this tender, tasty cut possible on a barbecue. Lastly, a butterflied leg is easier to carve.

In the video, James has not only provided step-by-step instructions on the preparation steps of boning and butterflying a lamb leg, but has also covered off how to put together a great lamb marinade and how to cook your butterflied leg of lamb on the BBQ.


Boning Lamb

  1. Start by removing the aitch-bone with a sharp knife -preferably a boning knife. This is found at the top end of the lamb leg.
  2. Put the tip of the knife up against the inside of the bone and cut along close to the bone, working your way to the outside.
  3. Make sure that you stay close to the bone to reduce any waste of meat. Once removed, set aside - the bone can be used for stock later on. This also goes for any excess meat on the bone.
  4. Next, locate the thigh bone. Place the tip of the knife against one side of the bone and work your way down through the leg following the curvature of the bone. Don’t cut all the way through the meat, only to the depth of the bone.
  5. Working slowly, make your way along the leg of the lamb until you have exposed the whole of the bone on one side of the leg,
  6. Once you've done that you can pull the bone out of the lamb and use your knife to trim away any attached meat until the bone is released.
  7. Next, remove the gland that is located in the topside/silverside of the leg. It will be covered by a heavy layer of fat.

Butterflying Lamb

  1. Trim off any excess fat and sinew. The aim at this stage is also to open the meat up along the sides to get an even thickness.
  2. Lay the lamb flat and cut the lamb so that it evens out the width of the lamb and ensures that all surfaces are even. This will help get a consistent cooking result.

Marinading Lamb

  1. Mix together olive oil, a lemon, a tablespoon of salt and pepper, fresh herbs (think chopped rosemary, basil, and thyme), and chopped garlic in a large container.
  2. Let the lamb leg sit refrigerated in the marinade for at least a few hours before cooking.

Cooking Lamb

  1. Heat your BBQ to 200°C and if using a charcoal-based BBQ add a little wood for flavour.
  2. Position charcoal on one side of the BBQ and place the lamb on the other side, allowing you to reverse sear it.
  3. Cook for 30 minutes on the side of the BBQ without charcoal and finish it by moving to the flames/charcoal side at the end to sear.
  4. Take the lamb off the BBQ and allow it to rest, preferably covered loosely in tinfoil, for at least five minutes before eating.

Posted by James Smith "The Tattooed Butcher"