Roast of Spring Lamb with Fresh Mint Sauce

There is nothing better than a spring lamb roast with all the trimmings.  Here is a recipe together with the quintessential accompaniment – homemade mint sauce.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 leg lamb
1 carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons red wine
1½ cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon brown sugar or quince or redcurrant jelly
2 teaspoons cornflour mixed to a paste with a little cold water, optional

For the mint sauce
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons boiling water
3 tablespoons white or cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 140°C.  Have ready a metal baking dish large enough to hold the lamb.

Place oil in baking dish and roll the lamb over in this, then leave fleshiest side up.  Remove from dish.

Place the carrot, celery and onion in the dish so that it approximately the size of the lamb.  Place the leg of lamb on top.

Cover the dish tightly with foil and cook for 1½  hours or until the lamb is just tender.  Remove from oven, boost oven heat to 200°C.  Take foil off the baking dish and return to oven for 10 to 15 minutes to crisp the skin.

Remove the lamb to a board or platter to rest while making the gravy.  Pour any excess fat from pan.  Place over a low heat on stovetop, pour in the red wine and stir.  Add the stock, tomato paste, brown sugar or jelly.

Bring to the boil and simmer 1 minute.  Sieve into a small saucepan then bring back to the boil and cook until reduce by one third or if preferred thicken with some or all of the cornflour paste.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the lamb cut into thick slices, drizzled with some of the gravy and roasted root vegetables.

Serves 6.

To make the mint sauce,  place the mint in a bowl with the sugar and boiling water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the vinegar and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.