How to Cook Lamb

July 26, 2023
by HelloFresh How to cook

    You might only make it for Easter or springtime, but lamb is a delicious and fragrant substitute for more familiar meats. Whether you’re cooking it mid-week or serving it up on a Sunday, a lamb fillet can be enjoyed on its own or enhanced with a variety of spices, herbs and extra ingredients. This step-by-step guide will show you exactly how to cook lamb, so that every meal you make is as tasty as the last.


    What is lamb?

    Cuts of meat from young sheep, lamb is most popular around the spring and summertime. Classed as red meat, it’s eaten all over the world and is particularly prevalent in Mediterranean, North African and Middle Eastern cooking, as well as a popular choice for Sunday roast in the UK. If you’re not roasting it, you’re likely to find it as the star ingredient in curries, stews and Greek dishes such as moussaka. Cooked lamb meat can come from a variety of cuts. Some are better slow-cooked or roasted on a barbecue to enhance their flavour and soften the meat, while others do well in the oven or a saucepan.


    How to cook lamb

    For a basic lamb fillet, roasting is the easiest option. If you’re making a Sunday roast, simply: 

    1. Drizzle olive oil over the lamb cut, sprinkling liberally with salt and pepper and any other complementary herbs. 
    2. Add a few sprigs of rosemary for flavour and roast for up to an hour, depending on how rare you like your meat. 


    If you’re cooking lamb in the oven, this is the average lamb cooking temperature per requirement: 

    • For lamb rare – between 50-55 degrees 
    • For lamb medium – between 55-65 degrees, depending on if you prefer medium-rare or medium well-done
    • For lamb well-done – between 65 and 72 degrees

    How to cook lamb steaks

    Lamb steaks are a cheaper cut that have a sturdier structure to them and will need tenderising before cooking:

    1. Season the lamb with olive oil, salt and pepper and any herbs you like.
    2. In a saucepan, melt a tablespoon of butter or drizzle with olive oil.
    3. When hot, add your seasoned lamb steaks to the pot and sear on both sides to seal in the juices – 30 seconds on each side.
    4. Leave the lamb cooking for 5-7 minutes until cooked to your liking.


    How to cook leg of lamb

    A lamb leg fillet might seem daunting to cook – but don’t worry. The way to cook a lamb fillet joint is remarkably easy:

    1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees / 170 degrees fan-assisted.
    2. Season your lamb leg well with olive oil, salt, pepper, dried herbs and rosemary.
    3. Place the lamb in a roasting tin and transfer it to the oven. The cook time will depend on the size, so it will need between 30 minutes to 1 hour cooking time.


    How to cook rack of lamb

    One of the most popular cuts of lamb, a good rack of lamb has eight ribs that should never be cooked more than medium-rare. With a deliciously juicy pink interior, this is great for a dinner party or when guests are over

    To cook a rack of lamb:

    1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees / 170 degrees fan-assisted.
    2. Put a large frying pan over high heat and melt a tablespoon of butter.
    3. Season your lamb with dried herbs, salt and pepper, rosemary and olive oil.
    4. When the pan is hot, place the rack of lamb fat-side down and sear on both sides.
    5. Transfer to a roasting tray and put in the oven, letting it cook for a further 8-10 minutes.
    6. Remove from the oven and rest.


    How to cook lamb shoulder

    A fattier cut of lamb, lamb shoulder lends itself well to a slow-cook – and is a great addition to stews and casseroles. For hearty winter dishes, this is how lamb should be cooked: 

    1. Season the shoulder well with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil. Adding rosemary and lemon juice at this stage works really well too. 
    2. Set the oven to 160 degrees / 140 degrees fan-assisted.
    3. Place the shoulder in a dish with the fatty side facing up, then place it into the oven.
    4. For slow cooking, the shoulder should take between 3-4 hours to fully cook.
    5. Every so often, baste as the lamb is cooking with the juices to keep it moist.

    Remember, if you want to make cooking lamb even easier, you can invest in a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your food. If the core temperature (where the lamb is thickest) is 60°C for 45 minutes, 65°C for 10 minutes, 70°C for two minutes, 75°C for 30 seconds and 80°C for six seconds, then it has reached its perfect temperature.


    All cooking appliances vary. These are guidelines only. Ensure the food is piping hot before serving. Do not reheat.


    What to serve lamb with

    Lamb can carry a lot of flavour, so you want sides that complement the meat. If you’re wondering what to serve your cut of lamb with, here are a few excellent choices: 

    • Rosemary herb roasted potatoes (you can use traditional roast or new potatoes for this)
    • Roasted brussels sprouts 
    • Dauphinoise potatoes – cut slices of Maris Piper potato thinly, then layer with cream, butter and cheese (Gruyere or any French/Swiss cheese is great), then bake under a hot grill
    • Roasted garlic asparagus 
    • Baked sweet potatoes 
    • Green beans 
    • Naan bread 
    • Rice pilaf 


    Lamb is a versatile meat that makes a great alternative to chicken and beef. If you know which cuts to get, it can be an inexpensive choice for a family dinner that blends well with other ingredients and dishes. Packed with flavour, it can be added into any dish – from a dinner party staple to a midweek meal.

    Recipe Development Manager at HelloFresh, Mimi Morely, explains how lamb is one of her favourite meats to work with: 

    “There are so many ways to serve lamb, so I get to create completely different recipes with it each time. It’s delicious when paired with rich, creamy flavours for a hearty yet decadent meal, but it also complements lighter sides like grains and yoghurt beautifully too.” 

    Explore delicious lamb recipes and book your first HelloFresh delivery today.


    Recipes with lamb

    As well as being delicious on its own, lamb can be easy incorporated with other ingredients and dishes.

    All food products vary. The instructions printed on the food packaging always supersedes those printed in this article and must always be followed.


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