The same ingredients. Two different recipes.
For this Recipe Inside-Out, I focused on the traditional combination of lamb and mint. The first preparation is simple and classic: a roast leg of lamb with mint sauce and some roasted potatoes. The second was inspired by another classic, Shepherd's Pie, but the flavor profile is quite different. Ground lamb with mint and lemon zest is crowned with a crisp layer of potato slices.
Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce and Roasted Potatoes and Onions
1 small boneless leg of lamb (5-6 lbs.)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon lemon zest
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 lbs new potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. If the leg of lamb is tied, untie it, unroll it and lay it skin-side down on a cutting board. (If necessary, use a sharp knife to make a few cuts to flatten the meat evenly.) Combine the garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Add enough olive oil to create a paste, and evenly spread this over the cut surface of the lamb. Roll the lamb up tightly and evenly and secure it with kitchen string. Rub the surface of the lamb with the softened butter, and season generously with salt and pepper.
Set the lamb in a large roasting pan. Evenly scatter the sliced onion and potatoes all around the lamb. Drizzle them with about 1/4 cup olive oil and season with salt a pepper. Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Stir the potatoes once, lower the heat to 325 degrees and cook for about another hour (until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb registers 135 degrees), stirring the potatoes once or twice during this time.
In the meantime, heat the cider vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the mint and set aside to cool. When the lamb is finished, remove it from the roasting pan to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Keep the potatoes warm. Slice the lamb against the grain and serve it with the potatoes and mint sauce on the side.
1 1/2 pounds new potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
2 lbs. ground lamb (preferably leg or something else not too lean)
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons lemon zest
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Peel the potatoes and put in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water, add a few pinches of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until just tender. Drain the potatoes and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add the onion, sugar and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens and begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the lamb and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rosemary, vinegar, about a teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper and cook for another minute. Stir in 3/4 cup water and reduce the heat so that the mixture is simmering. Cover partially and cook until most of the liquid had reduced, and the lamb is tender, about 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Off the heat, fold in the mint and lemon zest. Brush a TK baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter and spoon the lamb into it.
Heat the broiler. Finely slice the cooled potatoes into rounds and arrange them in layers in concentric circles over the top of the lamb. Brush the potatoes with the remaining melted butter, season with a little salt and pepper and put under the broiler until golden brown, watching carefully, about 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately.