I followed this recipe for a leg of lamb. I placed the lamb in a roasting tray on top of a bunch of celery, carrots and onions. In addition, I covered the tray with aluminum foil.

I probed the lamb, had oven at 350 F and removed it from the oven at 130 F and placed it on a roasting rack for cooling and covered loosely with foil.

The internal temperature rose by 22 F!, from 130 - 152 F during the resting period. A large portions of the meat ended up extremely dry.

Now, since I had to put the stuffing in the lamb, I had to tie the lamb together again with twine. I might have tied it too tightly.

Also, I think my oven temperature was also too high for a tented piece of meat placed on top a bunch of veggies. In addition to the water escaping from the meat, moisture is also released from the veggies. The temperature inside the tent might have been high enough to generate a very large carryover.

One final note: The stuffing contains bread which sucks up moisture. Is it possible that the stuffing is absorbing the juices and drying the meat.

What can I do with my leg of lamb for better temperature control and texture?

  • Even 152° F is still 'medium' cooked. Was it pink or cooked fully on the inside? Perhaps your meat thermometer is off?
    – Mien
    Mar 4, 2014 at 10:19

1 Answer 1


With all due respect to Chef Oliver, I do see some problems with the recipe he offers.

In The New Best Recipe Book, from Cook's illustrated in the section on beef roasts they note that when beef is roasted at above 250°F the internal temperature will rise by 18°F during the resting period, however when roasting below 250°F the internal temperature only increases by 3°-5°F. For this purpose lamb is comparable to beef and the result you experienced was to be expected. IMHO the oven temp of 400° is too high, and I would recommend going lower and slower. Try 225°F, and plan on it taking much longer to cook. Continue to roast in the oven until an internal temp of 140°F is reached. This technique will afford you a much more tender and juicy roast, even if it takes longer to get there.

You are correct in directing some attention to the stuffing as well. Where the recipe asks you to add lemon juice if it the stuffing is too dry, I would suggest adding lemon juice until the stuffing is 'very moist' (not sure how to quantify that for you).

Tying the twine too tight is unlikely to have had an impact, but your choice of basting wine may have. Go with something fruitier/sweeter in flavor.

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