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Category: Main courses

Roast lamb with fresh mint sauce

Roast lamb with fresh mint sauce
Los Angeles Times

Real mint smells like spring and tastes like summer. But that's real mint. It's worlds away from the green jelly in the jar, the assertive flavoring in the chocolate ice cream, the off taste in the bottled iced tea. And ... Read more

Total time: About 2 hours | Serves 6 to 8
Note: The mint sauce is also excellent served with lamb chops.
  • 1 (6- to 7-pound) bone-in leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and tied
  • 4 large cloves garlic, slivered
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarse-grain mustard
  • 1 cup very finely chopped fresh mint leaves, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • 4-6 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Step 1Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Using a sharp paring knife, cut thin slits all over the lamb and slide the slivers of garlic in. Season on all sides with salt and pepper. Set on a rack in a roasting pan. Rub the mustard all over the exposed surface.

Step 2Roast the lamb 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and roast 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, until cooked to desired doneness. Check after the first hour at lower temperature, using an instant-read thermometer inserted only into the meat, avoiding the bone. A reading of 120 degrees will be rare, 130 medium-rare, 140 for medium; the meat will continue to cook as it sits. Transfer to a carving board and let stand 20 minutes before carving.

Step 3While the lamb roasts, place the mint in a deep bowl. Combine the sugar with 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar in a small nonreactive saucepan with 1/4 cup water. Heat over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately pour over the mint and toss well. Taste and add more sugar or vinegar as needed; the flavor should be sharply minty and sweetly balanced.

Step 4To serve, slice the lamb into serving portions and pass the sauce separately to be used judiciously.

Each of 8 servings:
390 calories; 284 mg. sodium; 165 mg. cholesterol; 15 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 7 grams carbohydrates; 53 grams protein; 1 gram fiber.
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