Leg of Lamb Butchering
Here's how to easily debone and separate each cut of a leg of lamb!
After butchering, you can reserve the bones along with the trimmings to make a delicious lamb stock. Use each cut for your favorite preparation.
Tenderloin and sirloin are great just quickly grilled or pan-seared. Top Round is great for stir-fry, roasting, or even kebabs. The bottom round and shank benefit from long, slow cooking methods such as braising or stewing, since they are tougher cuts.
Leg of lambs here in Kosovo and Albania are generally smaller and tend to come along with the loin attached—when that happens, it's a real treasure!
These lambs are bred at higher altitudes. They feed on the best grasses and flowers and drink the cleanest water.
Trim and remove the excess hanging fat off 1 leg of lamb
Place the leg, flesh-side down, on the cutting board. Make an incision in the joint between the hip bone and the loin. Flip the leg and make a cut around the loin to mark it
Flip the leg and chop through the bone with a cleaver. Use a knife to remove the meat of the loin from the leg
Feel for the hip bone at the top of the leg and make a cut along the length of it to expose it. Carve around the bone and joint to remove it. Reserve the bone
Carve around the exposed ball joint to detach it from the meat. Make an incision along the length of the bone until the next joint
Move the shank back and forth to help find the joint. Cut through the meat around the joint until you hit it
Remove the shank by cutting through the joint. Reserve it
Cut along and around the thigh bone to remove it. Reserve the bone
Use your hands to open up the thigh
Find the separation between the muscles on the left-hand side of the thigh. Carefully cut between them to remove the top round
Find the separation between the muscles on the left-hand side of the remaining piece. Carefully cut between them to remove the bottom round. Reserve the remaining piece of the leg
Place the bottom round, skin-side down, on the cutting board. Hold the skin with one hand and cut along it, as close as possible, to remove from the meat. Trim off excess fat and remove the gland
Separate the remaining piece of the leg into the two major muscles. Clean each part by removing the skin and excess fat. Reserve it for a stock
Place the shank on its side on the board, with the tendon facing upwards. Cut the tendon with a cleaver and remove it by cutting it off from the meat
Cut through the meat along the shank to remove the meat. Reserve the bone
Cut the shank and leg bones into smaller pieces with a cleaver
Place the loin on the cutting board with the backbone facing up. Cut along the spine until about halfway down to release the tenderloin from the backbone
Pull off the tenderloin with your hand. Pull off the fat and reserve both
Cut the sirloin away from the spine
Chop the spine into chunks with a cleaver and reserve
Trim the fat cap from the sirloin. Remove the silver skin from the meat
The leg of lamb is butchered. Roast the bones and trims to make broth and use the muscle cuts in your favorite dishes.
Yield 6 pieces
Leg of Lamb1