Wellington food writer Lucy Corry is a passionate advocate for home cooking and in her new book turns everyday ingredients like eggs, chicken, strawberries and in this case lamb into heroes – a perfect option for Boxing barbecue Day.
A few years ago, we went to visit some friends who lived in Waikato. They had a bouncing baby named Angus, a mean yellow-eyed goat named Robert at the front door, and two lambs frolicking in the front meadow.
“Oh look at your lambs,” I whispered to Simon.
“Yes”, he smiled back, “we have called them ‘Christmas’ and ‘Dinner’.
I was momentarily a bit surprised by this, but then I remembered that I had grown up on a sheep farm and, well, I knew where lamb chops came from.
The lamb, even when it leans towards the lamb, is infused with the sweet taste of nostalgia. It’s the original grass-fed, free-range, and home-grown protein, even if most of us no longer live near sheep farms. Despite the occasional internal conflicts over eating it, lamb is still my favorite snack. This is how we eat it most often at my house.
Preparation time 10 minutes
(Plus 48 hours to marinate)
Cook Time 34 minutes
(plus 15 minutes to rest)
This recipe, from my wonderful sister-in-law Jenny Corry, is world famous in my family. Strictly follow the instructions to finish with a perfectly cooked lamb. The varying thickness of the board means that some bits will be well made while others are deliciously pink.
1 leg of lamb with butter (boneless)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 small red chili peppers, finely chopped (includes seeds)
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
1/4 cup malt vinegar
Place the lamb on a large, flat plate. Mix in the remaining ingredients then pour over the lamb. Massage it in, then cover it tightly with cling film and leave it in the fridge for 48 hours.
Bring to room temperature (take it out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking), then roast over medium-high heat for exactly 17 minutes per side. Cover with an aluminum tent and rest for 15 minutes, then cut into slices.
Serve with mint sauce, which you can make while the lamb is cooking. You can also serve it with minced garlic yogurt or a date, chili, and red pepper sauce.
For the mint sauce
about 40 fresh mint leaves, finely grated
2 tablespoons grated palm sugar or soft brown sugar
nice pinch of flaky sea salt
½ cup of rice vinegar
Pack the grated mint leaves in a small bottle or jar and set aside. Put the sugar, salt, and vinegar in a small saucepan. Stir well, then leave it over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar, then remove from heat and pour over the mint leaves in the jar. Let cool.
Store it in the refrigerator until you need it.