Baked Lamb with Rosemary with Redcurrant and Mint Sauce
Lamb is in peak condition in mid-summer, as it has then had the benefit of the sweet, young, spring grazing. At this time I would only serve it plain-roasted with a sauce of young mint leaves. Later on in the summer this is a fine way to cook and serve it: the foil-baking ensures that it stays juicy.
|1 x 4-4½ lb (1.8-2kg)||leg of lamb|
|2 tablespoons||chopped fresh rosemary leaves plus 1 sprig of rosemary|
|1||clove of garlic|
|10fl oz (275 ml)||dry white wine|
|1 tablespoon||extra virgin olive oil|
|½ teaspoon||rock salt|
|Freshly milled black pepper|
|For the sauce:|
|3 tablespoons||good-quality redcurrant jelly|
|3 tablespoons||red wine vinegar|
|4 tablespoons||chopped fresh mint|
|Salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|You will also need a roasting-tin|
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375⁰F (190⁰C). First of all crush the garlic and rock salt together to a purée, using a pestle and mortar, then add the oil, chopped rosemary and a good seasoning of pepper and mix well. Next spread a large sheet of foil over the roasting-tin, place the lamb on it and stab the fleshy parts of the joint several times with a skewer. Now spread the rosemary mixture all over the upper surface of the lamb and tuck in a sprig of rosemary (as this makes a nice garnish later). Then bring the edges of the foil up over the lamb, make a pleat in the top and scrunch in the ends. This foil parcel should be fairly loose to allow the air to circulate. Bake the lamb for 2 hours, then open out the foil, baste the joint well with the juices and return it to the oven for a further 30 minutes to brown. The above cooking time should produce the lamb very slightly pink: you can cook it for more or less time, as you prefer.
Meanwhile make the sauce by combining the redcurrant jelly and vinegar in a small saucepan and whisking over a gentle heat till the jelly melts into the vinegar (a balloon whisk does this perfectly). Then add the chopped mint and some seasoning and pour into a jug – the sauce doesn’t need to be warm. When the lamb is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Discard the foil, spoon off the fat and make some gravy with the juices left in the tin: add the white wine, stir and let it bubble until it has become syrupy. Season with salt and pepper if it needs it and pour into a warm serving-jug.