If there’s one dish that’s perfect for the cooler months, it’s a lamb roast. Making it healthier doesn’t mean sacrificing flavour. To make a succulent, healthy roast follow our tips to cut the salt and fat, then cook it to perfection!
Five steps to a perfect roast
Instead of using store-bought stock which can be high in salt, make a fresh stock using lamb, or replace with a no-added-salt stock.
Flavour your lamb by basting frequently with pan juices when cooking.
Rest the meat after roasting and before carving (cover loosely with foil to keep it warm and let it sit for 10 minutes). Resting allows the meat juices to make their way back through the cooked fibres resulting in an evenly-cooked and juicy roast.
Don’t use a fork to move the roast while carving. A fork will make meat juices run out resulting in an uneven colour of sliced meat portions.
Always cut meat across the grain (the direction which the muscle fibres align). If you cut with your knife parallel to the grain, you end up with long muscle fibres that are tough for your teeth to break through.
Cut the fat
Use a spray oil or 1 tablespoon of olive oil to spray or rub over the meat (or paint on with a pastry brush) before cooking.
Oiling the meat, instead of the pan, more evenly distributes the oil over the meat meaning you can use less. It’ll stop the lamb from sticking and the oil won’t burn in the pan.
Use a roasting rack so that extra fat drains off the meat.
Roast vegies in a separate pan so they’re not sitting in the meat fat.
Skip the salt
There are many ways to flavour your lamb without reaching for the salt shaker.
Minimise your salt intake and try some of these healthy and tasty alternatives instead.
Season with freshly ground black pepper and add flavour combinations from herbs, spices and marinades if desired.
Good flavour combinations for roast lamb include:
Dried or fresh rosemary, mint and garlic
Basil and semi-dried tomatoes
Thyme, oregano, lemon zest and garlic
Garlic, lemon juice, oregano, paprika and Greek-style yoghurt
Crushed garlic, ginger and mustard
Fresh shredded mint and low-fat natural yoghurt
Dukkah and lemon juice
Ground sumac and garlic.
When is my roast ready?
When roasting eye of shortloin/backstrap, lamb round or topside mini roast or lamb rump, cook at 220ºC.
Rare: 15-20 min
Medium: 20-25 min
Well done: 25-30 min
Judging if your roast is ready is easy using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature for:
Medium rare: 60-65ºC
Medium well: 70-75ºC
Well done: 75ºC
You can also use tongs to test whether the roast is done. Gently prod or squeeze the roast: