Marinated roast lamb with fresh mint topping
A visual feast as well as a delicious one, and I think this hits the mark. With lots of fresh flavours added to the mix it’ll be a meal like no other ~ Chelsea Winter
- 1 Quality Mark whole lamb leg, bone in
- 1 bag French (or pickling) onions, peeled
- 2 cups chicken stock (for the gravy)
- ¼ cup flour (for the gravy)
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- ½ cup fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried marjoram
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons oil
- FRESH MINT TOPPING
- ¾ cup crème fraiche
- 1 bunch or 25g packet fresh mint leaves, very finely chopped
- 1 bunch fresh tarragon, very finely chopped (optional)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 spring onions (green ends only), cut into very thin strips approx. 8 cm long
- 1 bunch fresh mint leaves
Place the lamb leg fat-side up on a clean chopping board and pat dry with a paper towel. Using a sharp knife, make a series of shallow cuts into the lamb, a few centimetres apart. Combine the marinade ingredients together and spread over the lamb, rubbing it into the cuts. Wrap the lamb in cling film and refrigerate, preferably overnight or for at least 2 hours.
Remove the marinated lamb from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the lamb in a roasting dish fat side up and season. Transfer to the oven and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes per 500g for medium. Baste occasionally. With 1 hour remaining, add the onions to the roasting dish. Turn them over once while cooking. Remove from the oven, transfer the lamb and onions to a warm plate and cover loosely with foil. Leave to rest for 20-30 minutes.
Fresh mint topping
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or mortar and pestle and mix well.
Spring onion and mint garnish
Submerge sliced spring onions in a bowl filled with lots of ice and water to make them curl up. Add the mint leaves. Leave in the fridge covered, for at least an hour. Drain and rest on paper towels.
To make a rich gravy, discard the fat from the lamb roasting dish, leaving the meat juices. Combine the flour with 1/2 cup water and add to the roasting dish, with remaining meat juices, on the stovetop over a medium heat. Add chicken stock, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, for about 5-10 minutes until thickened. Make sure you scrape all the caramelised meat juices and onion off the bottom to add flavour.
Place the rested lamb on a platter or board and spread with the fresh mint topping. Garnish with the spring onions and mint. Arrange the onions around the lamb. Serve with the gravy, roast potatoes and your choice of a salad or vegetables.
Making small cuts in the lamb helps the flavour of the marinade permeate the meat.
If you prefer your lamb welldone, roast for 30-35 minutes per 500g.
Leftover lamb is lovely the next day, heated and served on soft fresh bread with leftover vegetables.
The thinner you slice the spring onion, the better they curl up. You can also add microgreens to the garnish mix if you have them available – they add great flavour.
To reduce the sodium content of this dish, opt for salt reduced stock and omit the anchovies.
Author & Photography: NZ Beef & Lamb