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Carving and Serving Australian Lamb

Australian Lamb should rest for a few minutes just prior to carving and serving to allow the juices to settle into the meat. The larger the piece of meat, the longer it should rest. Aluminum foil can be placed over the meat to hold in the heat.

Once the meat has rested, it can be served. Larger lamb cuts, such as roasts, will require carving and should be carved across the grain to ensure maximum tenderness.

The grain refers to the direction in which the meat fiber runs. If you carve with the grain, the length of the fiber makes the slice of meat chewy. Carving across the grain shortens the length of the fiber, making it far more tender to eat.

You will need a carving knife 8 to 10 inches long, a chef’s fork or tongs to hold the roast in place and a carving board. Carve only what’s necessary—meat left on the bone stays moist and firm for enjoying later.

Basic Tips for Carving a Lamb Roast

  • For firmer, easier carving, allow roast to rest in a warm place for a few minutes by removing the roast from the oven and covering it with foil.
  • Remove any strings or skewers as you carve.
  • Carve roast on a cutting board, not in a pan or on a platter.
  • Hold the roast with tongs, rather than a fork, to avoid puncturing the meat and releasing the juices.
  • Carve with a sharp knife, holding it at the same angle for each slice.
  • Use a slicing, not sawing, action with the full length of the blade.
  • Carve across the grain to ensure tenderness.
  • Tender cuts can be sliced into any thickness. Tougher cuts should be carved into thin slices.
  • Juices released during carving usually can be added to the sauce or gravy, or poured over the meat on the serving plate.

Steps for Carving a Leg of Lamb

The basic aim of carving is to obtain the greatest number of attractive slices of meat from the roast.


Stabilize the leg by cutting a few slices from the thin side so that the leg sits flat on the board with the flat side up and the knob down (the wide inner side of the leg facing up). Secure your position with either tongs, a chef’s fork or by grasping the shank with a clean cloth.

Tilt the leg and start at the widest section of the joint parallel to the bone, cutting slices about ¾ inch thick. Keep the pressure even.

Slice progressively, working away from the shank.

Carve only what is necessary—meat left on the bone stays moist and firm for later carving.


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