Cutting primals from a leg of lamb

by Tom Hill, Head Butcher at Turner & George

There are lots of things you can do with a leg of lab other than just stick it in the oven. You can butterfly it, for quicker, more even cooking or, you can cut it into four 'primal' cuts (plus the 'mouse') for smaller roasting and braising joints.

  • Shank - this is the toughest cut but is delicious when slowly braised at a low temperature.
  • Top Rump - the equivalent of the rump of beef and has a good flavour and texture. It's lean and can be left with (or covered in) a generous layer of fat. The leg shown in our video has had the fat removed. Top rump can be roasted (about 180℃ )as a portion for 2 people.
  • Topside - you can cook this in much the same way as the top tump.
  • Silverside - also a perfect, smaller roasting joint with a good layer of fat.  It is ideal for cooking on the BBQ as the fat protects the meat. The Brasilians call it a 'Picanha'.
  • Mouse - this is a continuation of the the shank muscle into the silverside muscle. We suggest cutting it out and cooking it with the shank.

Other ways of preparing a leg of lamb


You can watch the whole video or jump directly to a specific point in the process.

  1. Trimming large pieces of fat
  2. Removing the H bone
  3. Removing the shank
  4. Removing the femur bone
  5. Removing the patella (knee cap)
  6. Cutting off the top rump
  7. Separating the topside from the silverside
  8. Removing the two glands, mouse and silverskin from the silverside

The primal cuts