My Minty Lamb dish is one of those fab recipes where you can make it as quickly or as slowly as you like. Like most things in life, the longer route can give the better result, but the speedy use of lamb chops instead of a leg or shoulder is still excellent.
I’ll explain the long way first and quickly run through the speedy method at the bottom of the page – there is also an image gallery down there to show a few stages of the cooking.
Minty Lamb makes a great main course, and is best served with something with an interesting North African or Mediterranean vegetable twist. On this occasion it went well with Peppers stuffed with rice, onion, mushrooms and peas.
Preparation Time: Take your pick…either 12 hours (!!) or 10 minutes
Cooking Time: Again, take your pick…either 2 hours or 15 minutes
Serves: 4 – 6 people
250g natural yoghurt
3 garlic cloves, crushed, or 3 teaspoons of Very Lazy garlic or garlic puree
2 tbsp. of olive oil
2 tbsp. mint sauce concentrate, or around 120g of prepared mint sauce
Small leg of lamb (c.1kg) OR small shoulder of lamb (the leg is the better, less fatty meat)
Fresh mint leaves too decorate (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (175°C if using a fan oven)
- Prepare the small leg of lamb – make sure it is up to room temperature* – place in a roasting dish and skewer or stick the edge of a knife into the lamb around 30 times
- Mix the olive oil and 1 garlic clove or teaspoon of Very Lazy garlic in a small dish and rub this all over the lamb, working it into the small holes you have just made
- Put the lamb leg in the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes – after 10 minutes take it out and cover the dish & lamb with kitchen foil and put back in the oven
- Roast the lamb for 30 minutes per 500g of weight PLUS an extra 30 minutes on top – Remember, you are not making roast lamb…you are cooking meat very well for the second part of the process, so no extra high temperatures, or extra 20 minutes of cooking!
- Combine the yoghurt, garlic and mint sauce in a bowl while the lamb cooks and leave in the fridge
- Once the lamb is cooked, leave it to cool and rest for 10 minutes – then carve off some thick(ish) slices
- Halve the yoghurt mixture, placing one half in a serving bowl, and coat and cover the slices of lamb with the other half
- Put the yoghurt coated lamb slices under the grill for about 5 or 6 minutes, turning a couple of times
- Serve at once, with your selected veg and the other half of the yoghurt sauce!
Ok, so that is the longer way to do it but the end result is amazing. The bonus is also that you are unlikely to use up the full leg of lamb this way too – so once you’ve chopped your slices off for this dish whack the rest of the leg back in the oven and crank the heat up to around 200° and crisp the remains up a bit…killer lamb sandwiches for tomorrow!
You can speed things up dramatically and still have a great meal if you substitute the leg of lamb for some lamb chops. Personally, despite still being very good I don’t think it is as good as the leg version.
For lamb chops, make the yoghurt dressing as above and marinade the chops in it for around 30 mins then cook them under the grill for about 6 minutes each side…and that’s it! To make this version even better, try leaving the lamb in the yoghurt marinade for at least 6-8hours (or overnight) and then grill them.
Drink – A rich red Bordeaux, or a good Cabernet Sauvignon. A decent beer such as Leffe Blonde also gets a thumbs up.
Minty Lamb Recipe – Method Gallery
*Remove the lamb from the fridge around 45 minutes before cooking begins