Lamb with mint sauce is studded with garlic and roasted with rosemary, salt, and pepper. It’s the perfect Easter meal or Sunday supper.
Aussie leg of lamb with mint sauce is my favorite Easter meal. Of course, when choosing what lamb to buy the best comes from ‘Down-Under”. (This post was originally posted on April 2nd, 2014. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)
I was at an Aussie lamb event and had the opportunity to learn more about what makes Aussie lamb so special.
Buy Australian Grass-Fed Lamb
Australia is the perfect place to raise lamb and beef. With a landmass nearly as large as the US, but a population of less than 25 million, Australia has plenty of space for grass-fed, pasture-raised animals.
The Aussies have been farming lamb and beef for over 200 years. Their reputation for producing ethically raised meat is unsurpassed.
Aussie lamb and beef raise their animals in natural, open spaces, which contributes to a stress-free environment for the lambs.
Check out Aussie Lamb for more information on how it’s ethically raised.
I’ve mentioned grass-fed lamb, but what exactly does grass-fed mean?
When you buy Aussie grass-fed lamb you are guaranteed that the lamb you purchased was ethically raised, grass-fed, and never fed antibiotics! You can usually find Aussie lamb in your local grocery stores.
Bone-In Lamb or Boneless Lamb?
You can buy a bone-in leg of lamb, partially boned leg, or a boneless leg of lamb.
I prefer a partially boned or boneless leg of lamb as it cooks faster, and is easier to slice. However, people say bone-in legs may be tastier.
I like to stud my lamb with slivers of garlic for extra flavor. The rub I use is freshly chopped rosemary, kosher salt, and coarsely ground black pepper.
Remember to take into consideration cooking times, since boneless legs will cook faster compared to bone-in lamb legs.
What is the Proper Lamb Cooking Temperature?
This, of course, depends on how you like your lamb. It used to be that lamb was only served well-done. Don’t do this with Aussie lamb!
Seriously, good quality lamb (or beef) should be served medium-rare, to medium at the most!
Some would argue that’s too well-done. Yes, this is a personal preference, but if you’re going to spend the money on high-quality meat, please don’t over-cook it!
The best way to ensure the perfect temperature is to use a meat thermometer. I use this one, which you can keep in the meat while it’s in the oven.
The thermometer will beep when it’s getting close to the correct lamb temperature. If you prefer your lamb rare, you’ll want to pull it out at 130 degrees.
For medium-rare, it should register 135 degrees, and for medium 150 degrees. Remember that it’s easier to cook it longer, but once it’s over-cooked, you can never go back. I like this thermometer for checking meat.
Keep in mind that the meat will rise up to an additional 10 degrees after it’s taken out when resting.
How to Make Fresh Mint Sauce For Lamb
If you’ve only had lamb with mint jelly, please try this fresh mint sauce recipe. American mint jelly for lamb is loaded with artificial colors and flavors.
It’s also cloyingly sweet and electric green. In England, lamb is traditionally served with a mint sauce, which is more akin to an au jus.
It’s tangy, slightly sweet, and simply made using, mint, malt vinegar, very little sugar, and it makes for a great leg of lamb mint sauce.
The entire recipe contains just one to two tablespoons of sugar, but if you are sugar sensitive, you can certainly substitute your favorite sugar alternative.
This homemade mint sauce recipe comes from the old Time/Life Series, Foods of the World, The Cooking of the British Isles. My mom collected the whole set in the ’60s and has given me the entire hard-back collection and some of the spiral-bound recipe books.
It’s also fun to see how “food photography” has changed over the last 40 plus years.
It’s the best mint sauce for lamb, and it’s easy to make! Simply dissolve sugar and ½ cup of water over low heat until barely simmering.
Add a handful of fresh mint leaves, a cup of malt vinegar, and a pinch of salt, and let it sit at room temperature for a couple of hours.
Adjust the flavor (sweetness) by adding a bit more sugar if necessary. Serve on the side of the lamb in place of mint jelly.
Leg Of Lamb with Fresh Mint Sauce
Roast Leg of Lamb:
- Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees F.
- 5 pound Lamb (boneless leg), this one was just over 5 pounds.
- 3 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 3-4 Rosemary sprigs, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 3-4 cloves garlic peeled, and sliced into thin slivers
- 1/2 cup water
- 2-4 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped and packed
- 1 cup malt vinegar (wine or cider vinegar won’t give the same flavor)
- pinch of kosher salt
Leg of Lamb:
- Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees F. Adjust oven racks so that lamb will roast on the bottom third of your oven.
- For faster cooking, bring meat to room temperature. Mix salt, rosemary and pepper in a small bowl. This is important because you don’t want cross-contamination.
- With a long, thin knife, make several deep cuts into the roast. Put a sliver of garlic into each cut. Coat all sides of meat with rosemary/salt rub. (discard any un-used herb rub)
- Roast lamb, fat side up, at 500 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 375 degrees and continue roasting until internal temperature reaches the proper temperature to your liking. For medium rare, remove at 135 degrees F. (It will continue cooking after you remove it from the oven another 10-15 degrees)
- If you prefer yours rare, pull at 130*, for medium, pull at 145*.
- This lamb was pulled at 140 for medium rare.
Fresh Mint Sauce:
- Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring just until the sugar dissolves completely.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in the mint leaves and vinegar. Taste and add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter sauce.
- Set aside at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
- Figure on 6-8 ounces of meat per person for a boneless leg of lamb.
- Remove lamb from the oven an hour before roasting.
Looking for side dishes to go with your leg of lamb dinner? Here are some of my favorites!
Roxy | Roxy's Kitchen says
Lamb is a must-have dish on Easter day for us, I’ve never tried it with mint sauce though. Would love to give it a try :). Thanks for sharing this at my Facebook Milestone Link Party :)!
If you’ve ever had mint jelly…this is nothing like it…it’s a little tangy and a little sweet!
Love this recipe! So much flavor and it’s way easier than you might think!
Right? I think a lot of people are afraid that they’ll over-cook it?
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day! Who doesn’t love lamb and mint sauce! YUM Nancy!
Eden | Sweet Tea and Thyme says
I didn’t know that Australian products had such great laws over what they self for consumption. I wish the US would get on the bandwagon! This lamb is amazing, and perfect for Easter!
Yes, that was so impressive! I wish US companies had the same standards!
Luci's Morsels says
That’s so fascinating about how great the process is for raising grass-fed in Australia. And I have to give fresh mint sauce a try. I’ve never been a fan of mint jelly, but I do love the flavor it adds!
I love how respectful of the animals they are. I find mint jelly cloying sweet. This mint sauce is more tart and slightly sweet.
I’ve had Australian lamb and agree. I simply won’t bother with lamb that has a lamb-y flavour, and I’ve never had it with Australian lamb.
Your leg of lamb looks perfect, and the simple preparation makes it all the more appealing to me! Delicious!
I was impressed with how ethically they raise their animals.
Chris Collins says
This looks like lamb perfection! I know exactly what’s going on my table this Easter Sunday 🙂
Thank you for this recipe – it will be perfect for easter! I usually don’t make mint sauce for my lamb but I have been wanting to try it – will try your version now!
This mint sauce is far less cloying than American mint jelly.
Outstanding recipe. Love lamb will make this for dure
thank you! It’s my favorite meat!
What a fabulous lamb presentation. I love lamb and your fresh mint sauce is the perfect accompaniment..
A beautiful lamb recipe, and I’m intrigued by the minted sauce. I’ve never ever even tried the mint jelly that’s traditionally served with lamb. I just never “got” it. But I love what you’ve done. When in Australia I enjoyed lamb, as well as in New Zealand. What a treat.
I don’t like mint jelly because it’s so sweet. This mint sauce is slightly sweet and tart and a traditional accompaniment in England.
Cynthia, this looks absolutely delicious! My mom served both a mint sauce and mint jelly with lamb. I loved both! Happy Easter! 🙂
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
Your lamb looks perfectly cooked. The next time I cook a leg of lamb, I’ll use your high heat then lowering method.
Thank you! It works very well. But I think using a thermometer is key too!
this looks juicy and tasty indeed….thank you for sharing.
I was raised in England and frequently ate leg of lamb. My mother never did any of that.
never did any of what? The roasting method? I went to culinary school and also lived in England. I cooked in several places in London.
Jon Barton says
Didn’t you mean “remove from the fridge an hour before roasting”?