Roast Lamb with Pickled Shallot Mint Sauce

The lamb roast – a great show stopping centerpiece for any celebratory meal or even your usual Sunday lunch. You simply can’t beat it, especially with a freshly made mint sauce.

pickled shallot collage

This Pickled Shallot Mint Sauce is a twist on your traditional mint sauce inspired by a love of pickled and fermented foods. I can guarantee you’ll enjoy this light and tasty, no fuss sauce alongside your roast lamb. Pickled and fermented foods have been gaining in popularity over the last few years and have become quite ‘trendy’ given the interest in their bold flavours, health benefits and a desire to create hand crafted foods with artisan technique.

Lamb collage 2

For the lamb, we’ve cooked it based on a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe which uses the typical garlic and rosemary combination with the addition of slivers of anchovies as a means to season the joint. This recipe is a fail safe one we have used on many occasions.

Written by Corin

sauce and lamb collage

Serves:  6
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours


For the Roast Lamb

  • 1.8-2kg leg of lamb
  • 50g tin of anchovies
  • 4-5 sprigs of rosemary
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled then sliced lengthwise into 2 or 3
  • 1/2 bottle of dry white wine
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Pickled Onion Mint Sauce

  • 3 banana shallots, sliced into thin circles
  • 2 bunches of mint, leaves finely chopped
  • 140ml white wine vinegar
  • 140ml boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar


Cooking Method – Roast Lamb

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Use a small knife to make about 12 5cm deep cuts into the flesh side of the joint. Insert a piece of garlic with half an anchovy and a small piece of a sprig of rosemary into each cut.
  3. Drizzle the remaining oil from the anchovies over the leg of lamb. Sprinkle over plenty of black pepper and place lamb in the roasting tray pouring the wine around it.
  4. Put in the oven and let sizzle for 30 minutes then turn down the oven temperature to 180°C and roast the lamb for a further 50 minutes, depending on how rare you would like your meat. These timings will yield a medium-rare roast so for a more well done roast cook slightly longer.
  5. Periodically baste the meat during this time with the wine and juice in the roasting tray. Once done, take the roast out of the oven and remove from tray onto a double layer of aluminium foil and wrap it securely. Leave the roast lamb to rest for 15 minutes with a few tea towels around it as well for insulation.
  6. In the meantime, taste the juices to see if any seasoning is needed and if the juices are too thin, decant into a saucepan and reduce slightly over a medium heat on the hob.

Cooking Method – Pickled Shallot Mint Sauce

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil.
  2. Par-blanch the shallots by placing them in the sieve and putting the sieve in the boiling water for 1 minute, moving the shallots around with a spoon so they are evenly blanched, then remove. You can also hold the sieve over the sink and pour the boiling water over the shallots.
  3. In a bowl place the chopped mint, shallots, white wine vinegar, boiling water, salt and sugar, then mix well.
  4. Let stand for 10 minutes and serve with meat when it is ready. Use the sauce within 5 days of making.

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