One of the most crucial parts of cooking your lamb actually involves doing nothing at all. Here’s why you shouldn’t skip the easiest step – resting.
If you’re not resting your lamb before serving, then you’re really missing out on the improved texture and flavours this simple step imparts on your meat. Whether you’re cooking up a lamb roast or grilling cutlets at a barbeque, you should always rest your meat for the best results.
Why you should be resting your lamb
To some people, the idea of resting your lamb after cooking just makes them think that they’re just going to let it get cold, but that’s actually not the case. Allowing meat to stand away from the heat helps to redistribute the juices throughout your cut – giving you juicer, tastier meat.
When cooked, the proteins in the lamb makes the meat feel firm and pushes the juices to the centre. As you let the lamb sit those juices get a chance to get reabsorbed into the meat, making for a more tender bite and stopping all those delicious juices from being lost to the cutting board.
How to rest lamb
When it’s time to rest your meat, you should be aware that the residual heat will keep it warm and may even cook it slightly further. Rather than leaving it sitting on the bench exposed to the elements, cover it loosely with foil. Don’t wrap it tightly or it will make the meat sweat out those juices you’re wanting it to reabsorb. It can also be helpful to place your lamb on a warm plate or serving platter, this will help to keep it at a palatable temperature for serving.
How long you should rest lamb for
The length of time to rest your lamb depends on the size of your cut. A large roast should be rested for 10 – 20 minutes before you carve it. Smaller cuts, like cutlets and chops, should be rested for 5 minutes. Many chefs suggest using this rule of thumb: rest your meat for 1 minute for every 100g (so 10 minutes for a 1kg cut).