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Roast Leg of Irish Lamb with Fresh Mint Sauce, Roasted Vegetables and Champ Potatoes

The smell of a roasting Spring Lamb, with garlic and rosemary, is one of those things that can take your mind back to your childhood and make your mouth water at the thought of it!




Easter Sunday was always a big occasion in our house when I was growing up as Lent was finally over and we hadn't eaten a sweet thing for the last 40 days! The history of the Easter Sunday Roast Lamb goes back to the biblical Passover of the Jewish people. A sacrificial lamb was roasted and eaten with unleavened bread and herbs in the hope that the angel of God would "pass over" their home and bring no harm. Christians often refer to Jesus as The Lamb of God and as religions merged, lamb became the traditional meat for Easter Sunday.

Here's the recipe for a delicious roast leg of Irish Lamb with fresh homemade mint sauce, roasted vegetables and champ potatoes with real roast gravy. If you make all this for any Sunday dinner, you'll certainly impress your guests!


Roast Leg of Irish Lamb with Fresh Mint Sauce, Roasted Vegetables and Champ Potatoes

1 Leg of Lamb - off the bone and rolled ask your butcher. (2kg (4lb) weight will feed around 8 people)
6 cloves of fresh Garlic
1 bunch of fresh Rosemary
50g Butter
Freshly ground black pepper & Sea Salt

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Place the Leg of Lamb on a roasting tray.

Score the leg of lamb with a sharp knife making 5mm deep incisions through the skin and push the garlic cloves and sprigs of rosemary into the cuts in the meat. Rub the butter all over the leg and sprinkle liberally with freshly ground pepper and sea salt.

Cover in tin foil and cook the lamb for about 1 hour 20 minutes. Spoon the juices over the meat every half hour. 20 minutes per pound (1/2 kg) will give you a lovely pink medium-cooked meat - but adjust the timing to how you like your own meat cooked. Take the tin foil off for the last half hour to crisp up the skin.

When it's cooked, transfer the lamb to another tray and cover it with a clean dish cloth, to rest for about 10 minutes, before you cut it. This allows all the muscle to relax and keeps the meat really juicy and tender.



Real Roast Gravy
To make the gravy, place the roasting tray on top of the stove over a moderate heat, use a scraper to lift all the tasty residues off the bottom of the tray and let the juices caramelise a little for about 1 minute. Add a pint of boiling water. Bring this back to the boil over the heat and let it reduce down by 30%. Sprinkle a little flour on to the tray and whisk it in to the juices. Let it bubble away for another minut and this will thicken up the gravy. You can add a drop of Browning, if you wish. Strain the gravy into a warm serving jug.




Fresh Mint Sauce
50g  finely chopped fresh Mint
2 tablespoons white Sugar
2 tablespoons Vinegar
75ml Water
3 tbsp freshly squeezed Lemon juice

Combine the water, sugar, vinegar & lemon juice in a small pot and bring back to the boil. Cook for 1 minute until the liquid thickens slightly and then add the chopped mint. Turn off the heat, let it sit for 10 minutes and then pour it into a serving jar and refrigerate until required.



Roasted Mixed Vegetables
400g each of carrots, parsnip, turnip, sweet potato - peeled and chopped into chunks
2 red onions, peeled and cut into eight
Olive oil
Honey
Sea Salt and freshly-ground black Pepper

Put the vegetables in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and a little Honey. Season with sea salt and pepper and toss about to coat them. Transfer them to a roasting tin and spread out into a single layer. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until cooked.



Champ Potatoes
Simply add some chopped scallions, salt, a little white pepper and some real butter to mashed potatoes, to make Champ Potatoes, and serve with your Roast Lamb!


Enjoy & Happy Easter!
Zack

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The Irish Food Guide Blog www.IrishFoodGuide.ie includes news, foodie chat, recipes, award results, links and other general information on the Food & Tourism Industry in Ireland.

It is written & curated by Zack C. Gallagher, Donegal Town, Co Donegal, Ireland.

“My Blog is a slice of the Irish Food ‘Network’. I’m a Chef with over 30 years experience and also have a background in media. I’m passionate about Irish Food Tourism and I believe that a rising tide really can lift all boats!”

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