Saddle of Lamb with Mint

Saddle of Lamb with Mint makes a superb Sunday lunch. Serve with roast potatoes and petits pois.

1 X 6 lb. saddle of lamb

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

8 lemon thyme sprays

2 oz. fresh brown breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

1 small onion, grated

1 tablespoon melted butter

6 fl. oz. chicken stock

1 tablespoon beurre manie

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Rub the meat all over with half the salt and half the pepper. Insert the lemon thyme sprays between the flesh and the fat.

Place the saddle, fat side uppermost, on a rack in a deep roasting tin.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, mint, onion and the remaining salt and pepper. Using a fork, stir in the melted butter. Using a palette knife or spatula, spread the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the fat.

Place the roasting tin in the oven and roast for 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to cool 300°F (Gas Mark 2, 150°C) and continue cooking for a further 1 to 1 ½ hours or until the meat is tender and the juices run out faintly rosy when the meat is pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the tin from the oven and place the meat on a carving board. With a sharp knife, carve the meat into thick slices. Place the slices on a serving plate and keep warm.

Remove the rack from the roasting tin and, with a metal spoon, skim off and discard the fat from the surface of the cooking juices.

Strain the juices into a small saucepan and stir in the stock. Set the pan over high heat and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat to low. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the beurre manie, a little at a time, until the sauce is fairly thick and smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce into a warmed sauceboat. Serve immediately, with the meat.

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