Recipe: Roast lamb with fresh mint sauce


Roast lamb with fresh mint sauce

Total time: About 2 hours

Servings: 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

1. Heat 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.

2. Roast 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.


3. While 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.

4. To 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.