I'm cooking a lamb recipe from Donna Hays' book "Fast, Fresh, Simple" and it calls for a "small boned leg lamb" (1.6kg). I saw "bone" and "lamb" and went out and bought a lamb leg roast on the bone.

What exactly is meant by "boned"? Does this mean the bone is removed? If so, how do I go about removing the bone from the steak I have, and should I butterfly it?

Also, the recipe recommends cooking for 25 mins at 350F after browning, but the piece I bought is 1.2kg with the bone in, so likely closer to 1kg with it removed. How should I adjust cooking time?


  • 1
    @BobMcGee your comment was flagged as offensive, so I had to remove it. In general, we don't mind jokes in comments, but if somebody feels offended by a ribald joke, it is our policy to remove it.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 15, 2012 at 14:43
  • @rumtscho Fair enough. Couldn't resist the temptation to comment on this one, though I knew I might have to remove it.
    – BobMcGee
    Apr 15, 2012 at 14:50
  • What joke could you possibly make abo.. oh. Apr 15, 2012 at 15:09
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    @ElendilTheTall: :D Because you're never too old to still be a kid. At least that's what XKCD told me. On an unrelated note, do you guys prefer your boners stiff or flexible? I'm thinking of getting a new knife for use in boning ducks/chickens for stews.
    – BobMcGee
    Apr 15, 2012 at 15:34

3 Answers 3


If a recipe asks for a boned piece of meat, this indeed means that the bone is removed. I think the easiest and cleanest way of doing this is just asking your butcher. As for doing it yourself, there a some videos available online, e.g. this one.

Since your meat is a bit smaller, I would suggest to lower the temperature a bit (to 340F) and leave it in the oven till you have a good internal temperature. I think it would take about 20-25 minutes, but this is just an estimate.

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    FFR, a piece of meat with the bone still in is generally referred to as 'bone-in'. Apr 15, 2012 at 15:10
  • I agree that it is easier to have somebody else do it. But I would add that the 'taking the bone out' is easy, but 'tying it up' is really hard.
    – Seth
    Apr 15, 2012 at 23:43

AS for butterflying - that depends on the cooking method. If you're roasting I would truss it up into a roast shape. So, back into a rolled package shape.

If you're grilling outside then I would butterfly it. I've found that on the grill (unless you have a rotisserie, which would be great here) it's better to cook it thinner so it's not too crisp on the outside, still tender on the inside, etc.

All comes down to cooking method.


I tend to ensure that when boning you trim to uniform thickness. It's important for cooking time, and to make sure that you don't get overcooked sections. I'd drop the temp slightly, and drop the cooking time by 5 minutes. Give it 5 minutes longer to rest. I'm not familiar with the recipe - is it a rolled leg, or BBQ'd? If it's rolled - I wouldn't be so concerned with uniform thickness If roasting (and it's rolled) then make sure that you don't overtrim the fat, and leave a nice 0.5cm cover over the top to stop it drying out. Sorry - Kiwi here - we use metric ;)

  • Well, I ended just taking a crack at deboning it, with mediocre results, and big variations in thickness. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I was feeding a couple of experienced lamb eaters who wanted it somewhat rare, and one total newbie who wanted it well done, and I ended up with both in the end which was perfect. The recipe picture showed a sort of flat, even thickness cut of meat, so definitely not rolled. It was just roasted with a bunch of garlic in the skin scattered around, couple sprigs Rosemary, and some thick slices of feta around the meat too.
    – SSilk
    Apr 20, 2012 at 2:36

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