Sunday, 15 April 2012

Roast Lamb and Mint Sauce

Fresh Mint 

Easter Sunday is always a busy day with so many mouths big and small to feed for lunch. So something easy to cook leaves little room for error and a roast once in the oven needs little attention. Time seems to disappear on mornings such as these so I was conscious to prepare the lamb early and get it in the oven.

I love fresh herbs so I dashed out to the garden to pick the mint and rosemary first (I normally forget this bit and have to down tools in the middle of preparations to do the harvesting). 

I dried the skin of the lamb and made some incisions and studded with rosemary and garlic slivers.  Rubbed the meat with olive oil and salt. Easy!

It looked pretty good just sitting on the bench and it wasn't even cooked.
Lamb studded with Rosemary and Garlic
Cooking Lamb
Preheat the oven to 180C. Cooking time will depend on size but approximately 18-20mins per 500g (1lb).  I like my lamb a little pink and so prefer to undercook and leave to stand covered with tin foil for about 10 - 15 mins. I sliced the lamb thickly and the slivers of garlic could be seen quite clearly. Beautiful.

Now for the mint sauce - I thought it would be as easy as opening a book and just putting a few ingredients together - as I hadn't made it from scratch before I wanted the security of written measurements.  Do you think I could find a plain mint sauce recipe anywhere.  I must have opened at least a dozen books.  I could have googled but I felt sure I should have this elementary sauce on my own bookshelf.  Eventually I turned to one of my oldest cookery books "The Cordon Bleu Cookery Book" by Rosemary Hume and Muriel Downes and felt sure this would not disappoint. I was right. It looks well used and the pages are quite yellow but to be honest I can't remember cooking much from it.  But it came to the rescue on page 334.
Homemade Mint Sauce
Mint Sauce
1 large handfull mint leaves
1 tablespoon castor sugar
2 tablespoons boiling water
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
pinch of salt
(I increased these quantities for my luncheon)

Wash and dry mine leaves, chop finely or pound in a mortar until smooth with a little sugar.
Turn into a bowl add boiling water.
Stir in the sugar, vinegar and salt.
Taste and add more sugar or vinegar if necessary.
The sauce should be bright green and thick in consistency.

The smell of roast lamb filled the house and was a lovely welcoming aroma - nothing better for when everyone started to arrive.


  1. We had lamb last Sunday too! Although I have to admit to using a jar of mint sauce instead of making my own!

    1. I am sure you have mint in your garden too - give it a go when you are not under pressure, you'll be happy you did, it is so much better than shop bought.

  2. I love your roast lamb with mint sauce. This was my mother's favourite meal when I was growing up. And she would make her own mint sauce picking the mint from her herb garden. And she always put the mint on the chopping board then put the sugar (she used raw) on top of it and then did the chopping. And she used malt vinegar too (but there wasn't a lot of choice in vinegars back then). Lovely to see this wonderful recipe and so perfect for Easter Sunday xx Oh, and love the mint image - how vibrant and green is it! xx

    1. Thanks Charlie, my mum always cooked a shoulder of lamb (mostly because it was a cheaper cut I think) but she would cook it slow and it was always succulent. It would make our mouth water just waiting for Sunday lunch. The mint has been amazing this year.