Growing up, Easter always meant a leg of lamb for dinner. I hated it! It was always dry, had little taste and was served with awful mint jelly. One day, we went to a neighbor’s home for Easter and their lamb was delicious and not overcooked. When I began preparing Easter meals for my family, I asked that neighbor for the recipe. We have been cooking it for years – and the mint sauce is a delicious complement. Just remember when grilling – a leg of lamb can have a lot of fat so be careful of flare ups.
Mint sauce ingredients:
½ c. cider vinegar
1/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. chopped fresh mint leaves
One 6–7 lb. butterflied leg of lamb with bone (once butterflied it should be around 4 lbs.)
2/3 c. dry red wine
1/3 c. olive oil
2 T. chopped shallots
1 T. fresh rosemary or 1 t. dried rosemary
2 cloves minced garlic
½ t. salt
½ t. freshly ground pepper
Mint sauce preparation:
Combine vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stir just until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the mint and salt. Set aside and let flavors meld.
Place the lamb in a glass or porcelain baking dish large enough for the lamb to lay flat. Stir the wine, olive oil, shallots, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper together. Pour over the lamb and marinate for 2 hours (or all day), turning occasionally.
Prepare the grill, put the racks about 4–6 inches from the fire, oil the racks. Remove the lamb from the marinade and pat dry. Save the marinade for basting. Place the lamb on the grill and cook for about 35–45 minutes, turning frequently and brushing with the reserved marinade. The middle of the lamp should remain pink. Remove the meat from the grill, cover with loose foil and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with mint sauce.
The lamb is great served with garlicky mashed potatoes or rice pilaf and asparagus.