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Lamb Leg Lingo

Shank Half (left) | Butt Half (right)

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Whole legs of lamb in the United States tend to run as large as 8 pounds, which is more than many people need. For this reason, they’re often halved before sale. Here’s how the halves compare:.

Shank Half This is the thigh from the hind leg. Meaty at the top and becoming narrower toward the knee, this cut is lean and easy to carve, which is why we chose it for the Rosemary-Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb with Red Potatoes recipe from Fine Cooking #116.

Butt Half This is the hip and rump. Though this cut, which includes the sirloin, is tender, it’s hard to carve. When it’s bone-in, it may include the hip—or aitch—bone, which can be awkward to work around.

Photo: Scott Phillips


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