Roast Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce

Roast Leg of Lamb

5-6 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and tied

3 Tablespoons garlic, chopped

1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

2 Tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper

Crush the garlic and rosemary with a mortar and pestle (or food

processor), add 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Butter and mash

into a paste. Rub over the lamb and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°. Place lamb in a large roasting pan and roast until the internal temperature is somewhere around 140°, depending on your preference. This takes about 1 1/2 hours. Remove lamb from oven, cover tightly with foil and allow to rest for a few minutes. If you like, add some potatoes to the roasting pan after rubbing with olive oil and salt. They will be delicious!

Says Beth Koch, owner of Zia Diner in Santa Fe: “My mother would have steamed artichokes and served them simply with melted butter and garlic, with a bit of lemon rind grated into the butter. I think an artichoke, like a Brussels sprout, is even more wonderful when grilled or roasted, and so I would serve the lamb with grilled artichokes. They can be served with a simple aioli or Green Goddess dressing, but at home I still prefer melted butter with garlic and lemon.

When we were very young, my mother just used mint jelly with the lamb. We loved it! As we grew older, she introduced a more sophisticated variation, an English mint sauce that had lots of vinegar. I think the vinegar was meant to cut the richness of the meat, but it was never quite sweet enough for us kids. Fresh herbs were not so available commercially when I was a kid, but now it is really simple to make mint sauce from scratch, and to taste.”

Mint Sauce

Bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped

3-4 Tablespoons boiling water

2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and let sit for an hour or so before serving with the lamb. Add more or less sugar, depending on your personal preference.

Recipe by Beth Draiscoll of the Zia Diner, recipe appears in May 2014 Local Flavor


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