La Différence

La Différence
A passion for food

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Perfect Roast Lamb with Homemade Mint Sauce

all ready to rock & roll

Roasted to perfection

The first rule of perfect roasted lamb is to find the best quality meat, lovingly prepared for the oven from a butcher you can trust. 
If you can obtain locally reared lamb....perfect.   If you use a supermarket just check where it's come from.  There's nothing wrong with New Zealand lamb but the carbon footprint is high....why buy foreign meat when the best you can buy is all around us
Cheap meat is usually means poor quality.   This boned out leg of lamb came from just across the border in North Wales....wonderful sheep rearing country. It's naturally full of mountain grass flavour....I like to help it along making it even more flavoursome by roasting over a bed of vegetables.....these in turn with the meat juices & a little red wine will make a fabulous gravy.
This should serve 6 good portions
I used a large....roughly 4½lbs in weight (before the bone was removed) and securely tied.
I didn't manage to secure the bone....if you can all the better
It weighed approx 3½lb perhaps a little more after boning out 
2 carrots chopped....just wash no need to peel
2 sticks of celery chopped
1 large onion chopped
4 tomatoes quartered
3 or 4 cloves of garlic left whole
few sprigs of fresh rosemary
a few parsley stalks
a glass or so of good red wine
2 cups of water
salt & pepper
For the gravy a few teaspoons of slated cornflour to thicken, a dsp redcurrant jelly
For the mint sauce
a big bunch of mint leaves.....I used spearmint and apple mint ....stalks removed
2 spring onions (scallions) and the green part
caster sugar to taste
red wine vinegar just a glug
boiling hot water
Chop the mint & spring onions finely
pour over a little boiling water
then a tbsp or so of red wine vinegar
add sugar to taste ....I used around 3 or 4 tsps
Leave to infuse for an hour or so
This is a thick sauce....we almost use it like another vegetable
The meat:-  Weigh your needs to roast for 20 minutes per 1lb  ...500gms for well done 
If you like your meat a little pink then reduce the time to around 15 mins per lb after the first 20 minute blast
heat the oven to 220c/400f/gas mark 6
Place all the chopped vegetables in the bottom of a roasting tray if you have the lamb bone add to the tray also
Season the meat all over with sea salt & black pepper
Tuck the rosemary into the  meat strings as I have in the photo
Place the meat on top of the vegetables....the fatty part facing upwards
Add 2 cups of water to the roasting tray
Roast uncovered for 20 mins then turn the oven down to 180c/350f/gas 4 for the remainder of the time
If you're a purist or unsure then check with a should read 80c/170f in the centre when thoroughly cooked 
I like my meat a little pink ..... so I roasted my 3½lb joint initial 20 mins at 200c then around an hour at 180c.  A total of 1½ hours
Remove the meat from the oven....wrap well in tin foil and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes while you make the gravy
The gravy.
there should still be some liquid left in the roasting tray with the vegetables
Add the glass of wine to this and place on a medium heat of the stove top
Scrap around the tray, scooping up all the juices and stuck on meaty bits
Add the redcurrant jelly and a couple of teaspoons initially of the slated cornflour
If the gravy looks to thin add a little more
Strain into a jug through a sieve squeezy and pushing out all the liquid from the vegetables as you do so. Discard the vegetables
Reheat the sieved gravy.....check for seasoning and adjust as necessary
Serve with your favourite vegetables.
We enjoyed ours with new potatoes, broad beans, peas, carrots and broccoli from the garden

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